‘Chinese telecom firm will not help premier institute set up any lab’
Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday allayed fears that there were any security implications in the agreement signed between Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Chinese telecom equipment and solutions provider Huawei.
“The agreement is part of testing and certification of Huawei products being deployed in India…a similar procedure will have to be followed by all foreign players providing their telecom equipments and solutions to Indian operators,” Mr. Sibal told journalists here.
“It may be understood that Huawei is not helping IISc Bangalore to setup any Lab as IISc has already set up the same as part of old pilot project, wherein all the equipments and software are theirs. MOU signed between the two [IISc and Huawei] is more like a non-disclosure agreement so that the information that IISc gets from Huawei is not disclosed to others,” Mr. Sibal explained. The Department of Telecommunications has full support from the Ministry of Home Affairs and intelligence agencies over this project.
The IISc had contacted several vendors from the United States, Europe and Asia supplying their equipments and solutions to Indian operators to give the internal details, for getting their telecom equipments tested.
“Huawei responded proactively before other vendors and hence requisite MoU got signed on June 15, 2011 between IISc and Huawei…Selection of vendor is an on-going process and more vendors will be selected for getting their telecom gear tested, as soon as they respond positively to IISc/DoT,” he added.
The Minister said the decision to conduct testing and certification of software and hardware of all foreign telecom companies had been taken in view of the fact that 70-80 per cent of telecom equipments were imported and have been deployed largely by the private service providers.
“We have recently approved ‘Centre for Telecom testing and Security Certification,' which was earlier a pilot project at IISc, to be scaled up to a full-fledged centre in due course of time, at estimated cost of Rs.60 crore,” he said.
Stating that DoT or IISc was not collaborating with any company to set up the testing laboratory, Mr. Sibal said all the foreign vendors would have to share their architecture for India to develop its own security protocol.
In case of any breach of security, the service providers and vendors would be held responsible and it might lead to cancellation of their licences and imposition of hefty penalties.