Editorial Team

Online learning has become the need of the hour and the most viable resource that has come to the aid of children and their learning in this time of crisis. But, at the same time, there is a pressing need to be aware and informed about some of the grave cyber threat that students may be exposed to while learning online. For addressing this concern, CIET, NCERT along with CyberPeace Foundation officially announced the launch of an online ‘eRaksha Competition 2020’ in June which is one of the world’s largest initiatives of its kind and is now inviting registrations from School and college students, teachers, parents and Caregivers.

This year we are also announcing the “Cyber Peace Honors”. The Cyber Peace Honors is an award conferred on individuals who have consistently worked on online safety and cybersecurity to facilitate peaceful, resilient and inclusive cyberspace for all. You can be an individual, a group of individuals or even an institution. Through this award, we hope to bring commendable efforts made by individuals to the forefront. So, if you are someone who has voluntarily put in efforts to promote online safety.

Participants will be shortlisted on the basis of the form they fill online through the eRaksha portal.

The objective of this competition is to create awareness and infuse a sense of resilience amongst the children and youth for navigating the online space, especially at a time when internet usage by children has surged exponentially owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As per various research studies undertaken by CyberPeace Foundation(CPF), most children are currently vulnerable to cyber threats such as cyberbullying and cybercrimes owing to the lockdown. A recent report by CPF found that 80% of school children in Maharashtra do not report the cybercrimes they faced to their parents, schools or authorities. The problem is further compounded by the fact that most children and their parents are not aware of the nature of these threats that children face. CPF has also noticed that schools, in particular, are vulnerable to malicious individuals enter unsecured online conferencing applications in order to conduct mischief. Schools across India lack the requisite cybersecurity infrastructure to tackle such issues thereby elevating the need for educational campaigns like eRaksha to educate students.

CPF envisions to leverage this competition to identify and groom talent who would potentially become cybersecurity experts and researchers. CPF estimates that India needs to ramp up its count of cybersecurity personnel by multiple folds in order to secure the digital infrastructure from cyberattacks.

Talking about the competition, Vineet Kumar, Founder, CyberPeace Foundation, “Through the eRaksha Competition, the participants, especially women and children will be encouraged to think creatively what online safety and digital citizenship mean to them and share their ideas through the various tracks of the competition. In the first edition held in 2019, we received over 15000 entries from across the country, and also Russia and the UAE. The competition brought out numerous innovative ideas that were received well by experts from the industry, government and academia.”

It is expected that children, youth and other all stakeholders will take part in the eRaksha Competition in huge numbers and would get immensely benefitted and informed by participating in different competitions.

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