With the rise in internet usage and cloud-based systems, the country’s economy could face threats online, former President APJ Abdul Kalam said

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Thursday said the country’s military engineers should learn the art of cybersecurity to safeguard the Indian economy from attacks online.

Addressing engineering graduates at the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME) at their convocation ceremony, Dr. Kalam said cyber-attacks had the potential to cripple the Indian economy.

He said the growth of internet technology and cloud-based systems in the past few years had created room for cyber espionage and warfare. Nations are electronically connected and everything is in digital form, which will definitely attract attacks in cyberspace. Efforts to spread awareness among police and other security agencies should be increased, he felt.

On the economy

Dr. Kalam hoped that the 600 million youth of the country would help India become an economic powerhouse — one of the objectives of the Vision 2020 statement.

“Trouble began after 2008 when the GDP [growth] was eight per cent. After that, GDP [growth] gradually began to decrease due to economic problems in Europe and US. I still feel that the young in India will work hard and take the GDP levels to more than nine per cent,” he said.

Indigenous military technology

Fielding questions from the audience, the Missile Man said that in another decade, the use of indigenous military equipment will increase.

“At the moment, only 50 per cent of our military equipment is indigenous. In another one decade, our goal should 75 per cent,” he said.

Commenting on the present system of education, he said the government’s efforts should be at the primary level.

“Inspiring creativity and excellence should only be at the primary level. At this level, we should concentrate on preparing children for the future. Education should not create degrees but produce persons who can generate employment,” he suggested. Commandant, MCEME, Lt. Gen. S. M. Mehta and other top officers were present on the occasion.

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