Why has the government made registering mobile phones’ IMEI numbers compulsory?

The government has made the registration of IMEI number of all mobile phones mandatory before their sale from 1 January 2023. Representational picture/AFP

Black marketing, phone thefts and tampering are rampant in India and this has brought the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number into focus. Now mobile phone manufacturers must register the 15-digit number, which is unique to each handset, with the government. Even IMEI numbers of imported phones have to be registered.

What is the IMEI number?

The IMEI number is used to identify a mobile device on the network – every phone has a different number. This can be done when a user makes a phone call or uses the internet on it.

This number reveals where the handset is made and its model number. It also indicates the location of the cell phone.

The number helps in identifying the manufacturer of the phone and finding out if it was ever stolen. A stolen or lost device can be tracked using this number even if the SIM card has been removed. These numbers can also help in blacklisting devices, which will stop them from functioning.

Cell phones with dual SIM cards have two IMEI numbers, one for each SIM.

What do the new rules say?

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has made it mandatory for all mobile manufacturers to register the IMEI number of the devices made in India. Every handset must be registered with the Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction (ICDR) portal starting 1 January 2023.

“The manufacturer shall register the international mobile equipment identity number of every mobile phone manufactured in India with the Indian Counterfeited Device Restriction portal of the Government of India in the Department of Telecommunications prior to the first sale of the mobile phone,” the government notification read. The notification has been issued under the Prevention of Tampering of the Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number (Amendment) Rules, 2022.

Similar rules apply for mobile phones imported to India for sale, testing, or any other purpose. The registration needs to be done before the phone is imported into the country. This applies to all imported phones including Samsung and Apple smartphones.

The ICDR system has been operational since 28 January 2020 and can be accessed through a web portal for registration and generation of IMEI certificates without any charges.

The new rules apply to imported phones like Apple as well. Representational picture/PTI

Why does the Centre want a record of IMEI numbers?

The new rules are to curb the rising cases of cloning and theft of mobile phones. India has a Central Equipment Identity Register, which categorises devices based on the IMEI status in three lists – white, grey and black, according to a report in The Indian Express.

The white list comprises mobile phones which are permitted to use while the black one has IMEI numbers of devices which are stolen, lost or barred from allowing access to the network. The grey list has operational numbers that are under supervision.

What happens in case of IMEI tampering?

In 2017, the Union government made tampering with IMEI numbers a punishable office in India which can attract a jail term of up to three years. “It shall be unlawful, if a person, except the manufacturer, intentionally removes, obliterates, changes, or alters unique Mobile Device Equipment Identification Number,” the DoT said in a notification back then.

“The theft and cloning of mobile phones have become a serious problem. The theft of mobile phones is not just a financial loss but also a threat to personal life of the citizens as well as national security. Counterfeit mobile phones in the market are another issue for DoT. A substantial number of counterfeit mobile phones are active in our mobile networks with fake IMEI numbers,” a DoT office memorandum had said then.

Have there been instances of IMEI-related crimes?

In June 2020, the Meerut Police found more than 13,000 Vivo phones with the same IMEI number. There has been a rampant rise in IMEI-related fraud with phones being sold with fake or duplicate numbers.

A phone that does not have an IMEI number is fake. Hence it is important to check this before purchasing a new device.

How to check the IMEI number?

To check the IMEI number, dial *#06# from your phone and it appears on your screen. The box in which your phone arrives also carries the number.

The ‘About Phone’ tab on the Android phone has his information. On the iPhone, you will find it in Settings, under About.

With inputs from agencies

WhatsApp to roll out new Call Link feature; here’s how to access it

WhatsApp to roll out new Call Link feature; here’s how to access it- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsHow-To

The best thing about using Call Links for call invitations is that participants who are not on your contact list can join the call.

Calls on WhatsApp are a convenient method to communicate with your loved ones, but you can not join a call unless someone adds you. The Meta-owned company has begun to roll out a brand-new calling feature called Call Links. Users can use this function to join any WhatsApp call by just clicking the link (URL).

Users can execute this by creating a link and sending it to their friends, family, and other call participants. The video calling features of WhatsApp Call Links are comparable to those offered by Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet.

The best thing about using Call Links for call invitations is that participants who are not in your contact list can join the call without the admin having to save their phone number. But unlike apps that are more likely to enable video call conferencing, WhatsApp would need to be downloaded in order for you to use Call Links to make the call. The Call Link can be generated from the Calls tab.

The Call Links option is presently being rolled out for some users and may take a few days or a week to finish, according to Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta. Additionally, he disclosed that WhatsApp’s development team is testing safely encrypted video calling for up to 32 individuals and that more information on this will be released soon.

Steps to create Call Links on WhatsApp:

Update your WhatsApp app by browsing the Apple Store or Google Play Store.
Go to the “Calls” tab in your WhatsApp application after opening it.
The “Create Call Link” option will only be available if you have access to this feature.
By selecting “Create Call Link,” WhatsApp will generate a call link for you to share with other users.
You should copy the link and put it into the chat window of the desired contacts.

The new Call Links function is not particularly significant, although it may be useful if you want to avoid manually adding callers. You can simply send the link, and others who get it can join the call.

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Reliance JioPhone Next 5G’s specifications and price of leaked, likely to be priced between Rs 8,000-12,000

Reliance JioPhone Next 5G’s specifications and price of leaked, likely to be priced between Rs 8,000-12,000- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsNews-Analysis

Reliance Jio could launch their upcoming 5G Smartphone, the JioPhone Next 5G soon. The device will be priced between Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000, and could feature a Snapdragon 480 SoC and a 6.5-inch LCD HD+ display.

According to analysts at Counterpoint, Reliance Jio is all set to launch their upcoming 5G smartphone, called the JioPhone Next 5G. The device is likely to be launched in the first week of October after 5G is officially launched at the Indian Mobile Congress. 

Alternatively, Reliance might launch the JioNext 5G smartphone once coverage expands sufficiently, and enough areas in the country start having Jio’s 5G network.

Last year Reliance Jio, in partnership with Google unveiled the JioPhone Next, a super affordable 4G smartphone, which could be had for as little as Rs 2,000 with a monthly plan starting at Rs 300 and a Rs 501 processing fee. Or, they could outright buy the phone for Rs 6,500.

Specification-wise, the JioPhone Next 5G will have an upgraded Snapdragon 480 chipset with 4GB of RAM and 32GB storage. For the display, the device will have a 6.5-inch HD+ LCD panel, and a 5,000mAh battery.

It is also likely to get a dual camera setup at the rear, with a 13MP primary camera, and a 2MP macro camera. On the front, the phone is said to include an 8MP selfie shooter. The Jio 5G phone is said to be running on Pragati OS, a custom operating system that Jio has developed in partnership with Google. The JioPhone Next, the 4G version, also runs on Pragati OS.

Counterpoint claims that the device is likely to be priced between Rs 8,000 to Rs 12,000. The new device, like the previous JioPhone Next, is likely being manufactured in Reliance Jio’s Neolync facilities in southern India by using a mix of components from Chinese, Korean and American suppliers.

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Only in Saudi Arabia: Video of a man flying using a jetpack to deliver food goes viral

Only In Saudi Arabia: Video of a man flying using a jetpack to deliver food goes viral- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsNews-Analysis

A viral video shows a Saudi man delivering food while flying in a jetpack. While the video looks cool, one wonders, just how feasible will such delivery systems by, and why not, simply use a drone?

Last mile logistics is seeing some pretty nifty innovations and leaps these days, especially in the Gulf and in India. A video of a man flying using a jetpack to deliver what appears to be food has been going viral the last couple days. 

The question is, is the video real, or a cleverly edited one?

Social media users have shared a video clip of a man in jetpack delivering item at a highrise in Saudi Arabia. The video shows a man using an engine or a jetpack to fly and move rom one tower to another to deliver an order.

The global food delivery industry is growing by 10 per cent annually, and the size of this market is expected to reach $365 billion by 2030.

Coming back to the video, while some people believe the video to be true, it actually is a very cleverly and cheekily composited video of a food delivery business, using a drone to deliver their orders.

While deliverymen using jetpacks to deliver stuff like groceries and food seem farfetched for now, even for some of the richest countries in the world, drone-based deliveries are an ever-growing reality.

Drones being used to deliver goods solves a major chunk of the issues that logistics companies face in last-mile logistics.

As cool as it looks, using deliverymen in jetpacks to deliver menial goods isn’t exactly economical. There’s the cost of the manpower required to setup the jetpack, the fuel, and the wages of the delivery man, not to mention the lengthy regulatory clearances and the required insurances.

The video and the CGI, are believed to be a part of an upcoming advertising campaign of a local food delivery business.

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Insects & Bionics: Japanese researchers develop cyborg cockroaches for ‘search and rescue operations’

Insects & Bionics: Japanese researchers develop cyborg cockroaches for ‘search and rescue operations’- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsNews-Analysis

A team of researchers at the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research in Japan have developed cyborg cockroaches using real, Madagascar cockroaches to be used in search and rescue operations.

When people see a cockroach, in all likelihood, they get creeped out. Rarely would anyone think of turning them into cyborgs and using them in extremely hazardous environments where it would be dangerous for humans to go into.

Well, a group of Japanese engineers have done just that – they have developed a bunch of cyborg cockroaches, which, they claim can be used in search and rescue operations and in extremely dangerous environments, where humans can’t function.

Researchers at the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research in Japan have designed a remote-controlled, rechargeable cyborg cockroach. What they have done, is strap a specially designed “backpack” onto a few cockroaches, which then, can be controlled using a remote.

Cyborg cockroaches are equipped with a tiny wireless control module powered by a rechargeable battery attached to a solar cell. Despite the mechanical devices, flexible and ultrathin electronics allow cockroaches to move freely.

The cyborg cockroaches, which are part insect and part machine, are intended to enter hazardous areas, monitor the environment or undertake search and rescue missions without needing to be recharged.

The team used Madagascar cockroaches which are approximately 6cm (2.4- inches) long. They attached the wireless leg-control module and lithium polymer battery to the top of the cockroach by using a specially designed backpack. This was modelled after creating a 3D body model of a cockroach, which researchers to create a stable and thin module.

During the experiment, scientists attached wires to the sensory organs of cockroaches on the end of their abdomens. They send electrical impulses that cause the insect to move left or right. A unit of the battery was necessary for sending and receiving these electrical signals. Therefore the RIKEN team built a solar-powered module so that they did not need to return to a docking station or its handler when it ran out of power.

The solar-powered module was attached to the top of the insect’s thorax, perfectly fitting the Madagascar cockroach’s curved surface. Further, the system was stable on the insect for over a month.

The idea behind the experiment was that cyborg cockroaches enter the crumpled buildings hit by earthquakes or any other natural disaster and help in finding survivors.

Despite being developed specifically on cockroaches, Kenjiro Fukuda, a senior research scientist at RIKEN and the lead of the research team, thinks their strategy can be adapted to other insects like beetles and cicadas in the future.

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Intel launches 13th Gen Intel Core Raptor Lake Processors, claims i9-13900K CPU to be the fastest in the world

Intel launches 13th Gen Intel Core Raptor Lake Processors, claims i9-13900K CPU to be the fastest in the world- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsNews-Analysis

Intel’s 13th Gen Intel Core Raptor Lake processors come with up to 24 cores and 32 threads. The top tier i9-13900K CPU runs at 5.8 GHz at stock and offers 15 per cent better single-thread performance.

Intel has launched the highly anticipated 13th Gen Intel Core processors, at the 2022 Intel Innovation Keynote. The 13th Gen Processors is led by the i9-13900K, which, Intel claims is the world’s fastest desktop processor. 

The new 13th Gen Intel Core family also includes six new unlocked desktop processors with up to 24 cores and 32 threads and blazing clock speeds up to 5.8 GHz, which would be amazing for all sorts of consumer and enthusiast-grade use cases, especially gaming and streaming.

The Intel Core “K” processors will continue to be the flagship processors in the 13th Gen Intel processors. The 13th Gen family of processors constitute a total of 22 different processors, across different budgets.

Enthusiasts can take advantage of 13th Gen Intel Core processors’ performance improvements with existing Intel 600 or the new Intel 700 series chipset motherboards. Combined with both the latest DDR5 memory support and continued DDR4 memory support, users can enjoy the benefits of 13th Gen Intel Core while customizing their setup based on their own feature and budget preferences.

With this generation, Intel’s performance hybrid architecture brings together the fastest Performance or P-cores, ever built along with up to double the number of Efficiency or E-cores, delivering improved single-threaded and multi-threaded performance.

The 13th Gen Intel processors come with up to 24 cores (8 P-cores, 16 E-cores) and 32 threads and provide an unparalleled experience for gaming, streaming and recording. The top tier i9-13900K CPU runs at 5.8 GHz at stock and offers 15 per cent better single-thread performance, it can push high frame rates and allow for unleashed gaming experiences across top titles.

The 13th Gen Intel Core desktop processor lineup adds more E-cores and up to 41% better multi-threaded performance to handle multiple, compute-intensive workloads to keep people in the creative flow.

The 13th Gen Intel Core processors also offer an unmatched overclocking experience for everyone, from experts to beginners. Users can see higher average overclocking speeds across P-cores, E-cores and DDR5 memory. 

Intel has also updated its easy one-click overclocking feature, Intel Speed Optimizer, to support 13th Gen processors so users can overclock with minimal effort. And the robust Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) 3.0 ecosystem provides a wide selection of overclocking modules. When coupled with Intel Dynamic Memory Boost, this feature provides a hassle-free memory overclocking experience with both DDR4 and DDR5.

Intel has also launched the new Intel 700 Series chipset with advanced features for increased reliability and performance. Eight additional PCIe Gen 4.0 lanes combined with PCIe Gen 3.0 provide 28 total lanes off the chipset, increased USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 (20Gbps) ports provide improved USB connectivity speed, and DMI Gen 4.0 increases the chipset-to-CPU throughput for fast access to peripheral devices and networking. 

Additionally, Intel is bringing forward and backward compatibility, meaning users can take advantage of the 13th Gen Intel Core processor’s performance improvements with existing Intel 600 chipset-based motherboards.

The 13th Gen Intel Core desktop “K” processors and the Intel Z790 chipset will be available starting October 20, including boxed processors, motherboards and desktop system sales. Other processors in the lineup will be launched in a phased manner starting at a later date.

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Forgot Android pin, pattern, or password? Here’s how to unlock your phone with quick easy steps

Forgot Android pin, pattern, or password? Here’s how to unlock your phone with quick easy steps- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsHow-To

There are situations when people forget the pin, password, or pattern of their android mobiles and fail to access their phones.

With advancements in technology, using Android phones has become easier today. Several features and updates are being provided by mobile phone companies, keeping in view the users’ interests and requirements. As a part of these features and updates in mobile phones, another important factor considered by companies is keeping user information secure.

Every android mobile phone or tablet presently provides at least a basic level of security which helps the users to keep their devices safe from unwanted breach of data or interference by others, in case the phone is lost.

For safety reasons, users usually secure their devices by putting up a pin, a pattern, or a full password which gives them the choice to allow selective access to their mobile phones. However, this technology comes with its own set of drawbacks. In case of a security pin, pattern, or password, users need to remember them every time they access their phones. In case someone forgets the details, it can land you in trouble.

Thereafter, if you are also someone who can potentially forget the required credentials to access your mobile or are facing the same issue, there is no need to panic as there is always a way to bypass technology and further crack it.

Here are a few tips for unlocking an Android phone:Use your Google account to reset your password/pin/pattern

Every Android user has to login into their devices with their Google account credentials. This comes as a benefit at such difficult times when you forget your pin, password, or pattern.

After you enter a wrong password or pin multiple times on the phone, there is an option to try after some time, besides the ‘Forgot Pattern/Password’ option.

Click on the second one and you will be asked to login into your registered Google account. Enter proper credentials and login.

Following this, the phone should unlock itself and you can now be able to set a new password or pattern.

However, this option might not be available for all phones. Usually, older models support the process.

Smart Lock feature

For situations like this, Android’s Smart Lock feature can come to your rescue. This feature usually logs into your Android phone with the help of your home Wi-Fi. Therefore, next time, you forget your unlocking code, take your phone near the home network and it will automatically unlock it for you.

Find My Mobile

For people using Samsung smartphones, relying on its ‘Find My Mobile’ feature can help in case one forgets the unlock code. For this, one needs to log into their Samsung account beforehand. Later, when the situation calls, you can simply go to the Samsung Find My Mobile website on a computer or laptop, enter your Samsung account details and use the ‘Unlock my screen’ option to remove the password, pin, or pattern.

Factory reset

In case nothing works, all you can do is reset your entire device using this option. While it will erase all of your data and information at once, the phone will reopen on its own and will be back to a usable state.

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NavIC: How is India’s very own navigation service different from US-owned GPS?

NavIC: How is India’s very own navigation service different from US-owned GPS?- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsNews-Analysis

While most people assume that GPS has an accuracy of up to 20 meters, NavIC can achieve an accuracy of up to 5 to 10 meters.

The Indian government is encouraging smartphone manufacturers to include support for its NavIC (Navigation with Indian Constellation) navigation system in newly released smartphones that will be marketed in the country in the upcoming year. This effort has concerned the industry because of the higher expenses and short timeline.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) created the navigation service known as NavIC. The Global Positioning System, or GPS, is well known to everyone and has been used for many years to provide geolocation services. While GPS was created by the US government and can be used anywhere in the world, NavIC is now just available in India and only covers 1500 kilometres of the nation till now.

Reasons to introduce NavIC:

NavIC is designed to provide higher location accuracy not merely for the use of general people, but also for military operations. The US government does not provide useful GPS information to other countries which gave rise to India’s very own navigation service. The roots of this go back to the Kargil War when Pakistani troops established themselves in Kargil in 1999. India had asked for GPS data of the area at the time, but the US had turned it down. India then realised the value of having a domestic satellite navigation system and as a result, the idea of NavIC gained further support.

Differences from GPS:

GPS makes use of geosynchronous satellites, whose positions are not set in relation to a specific spot on Earth. On the contrary, NavIC primarily relies on geostationary satellites, whose positions are set with regard to a specific place. The satellites always orbit above a specific fixed point on the surface of the Earth because they follow the path of the planet. Geostationary satellites are in a higher orbit, which means there are fewer obstacles but also weaker signals.

While most people assume that GPS has an accuracy of up to 20 meters, NavIC can achieve an accuracy of up to 5 to 10 meters. In addition to accuracy, NavIC is believed to have a quicker latch-on time, or Time To First Fix (TTFF) in technical terms. This implies that even in busy urban areas with several tall buildings and barriers, NavIC can identify your location faster than GPS.

Usage of NavIC:

NavIC was initially approved in 2006 with a $174 million price tag. It was supposed to be completed by the end of 2011, but it didn’t start functioning until 2018. Eight satellites make up NavIC. Its use is currently restricted. NavIC is now utilised for tracking and delivering information about natural disasters, providing emergency warning alerts to fishermen travelling into the deep sea where there is no domestic network connectivity, and monitoring public traffic in India.

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Russia to carry out massive cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine and ally countries: Advisory

Russia to carry out massive cyberattacks on critical infrastructure in Ukraine and ally countries: Advisory- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsNews-Analysis

Ukraine has issued an advisory, warning its allies that Russian hackers backed by the state will intensify their cyberattacks on critical infrastructures such as power grids and oil pipelines. Russian hackers may also launch a series of DDoS attacks on communication networks.

The government of Ukraine has issued an advisory stating that Putin’s Moscow plans to carry out a series of massive cyberattacks that would cripple some critical infrastructure, both in Ukraine and its allies. 

“By the cyberattacks, the enemy will try to increase the effect of missile strikes on electricity supply facilities, primarily in the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine,” an advisory warned. “The occupying command is convinced that this will slow down the offensive operations of the Ukrainian Defence Forces,” the advisory stated.

The advisory cited two cyberattacks the Russian government carried out allegedly. The first one took place in 2015 and the secondly, almost exactly one year later. These attacks overloaded and tripped the Ukranian power grid, leaving Ukrainians without power during one of the coldest months of the year. The advisory claims that these attacks were seen as a proof-of-concept and test ground of sorts for disrupting Ukraine’s power supply.

Both of these hacks were carried out by Kremlin-backed hackers. The attackers used a repurposed version of malware called BlackEnergy3 to break into the corporate networks of Ukrainian power companies and then further encroach into the supervisory control and data acquisition systems the companies used to generate and transmit electricity.

In 2016, the attacks were more sophisticated, as it used a completely new piece of Malware, developed from scratch. The malware, which was given the names Industroyer and Crash Override, was specifically designed for hacking electric grid systems. 

Ukraine’s advisory comes two weeks after their forces recaptured vast territories in Kharkiv and other cities that had been under Russian control for months. Russian President Vladimir Putin last week called for the mobilization of 3,00,000 Russian citizens to bolster the country’s military invasion of Ukraine.

Most European countries depend on Russia for oil and other forms of energy. With winter approaching and Russia seemingly on the back foot, Ukrainian officials believe that Russian hackers backed by the state will be increasing the number of attacks on power grids and internet-based communication services, by increasing the number of DDoS or distributed denial-of-service attacks.

Besides an attack on electrical grids, Ukraine’s advisory also warned of other forms of disruptions the country expected Russia to ramp up.

“The Kremlin also intends to increase the intensity of DDoS attacks on the critical infrastructure of Ukraine’s closest allies, primarily Poland and the Baltic states,” the advisory stated.

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Through the looking glass: The power of economic reforms in shaping businesses

Through the looking glass: The power of economic reforms in shaping businesses- Technology News, Firstpost








Technology NewsStartup

India has one of the world’s largest start-up ecosystems, with over 70,000 start-ups. One of the key challenges that start-ups face in India is the country’s volatile regulatory environment. However, the government can be a friend to businesses and the public alike.

The Central government recently announced its plan to implement stricter rules regarding the scrutiny of interactions between companies. While this is coming on the back of many high-value deals escaping scrutiny because of loopholes, government regulations on a larger scale have always kept businesses and enterprises on their toes.

Bringing the balanceThe word reforms and the advent of the liberalisation of industrial and trade policies are synonymous in my mind for India. During the 1980s, these reforms were accompanied by an increasingly receptive attitude toward regulatory reforms. The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956 and the Statement of Industrial Policy of 1991 provide the basic framework for the overall industrial policy of India to this date. 

However, most sectors in the business world have been aggrieved by government regulation. Corporations and their spokespersons often denounce statutory mandates as irrational impediments to economic growth and job creation.

Today, there are three prominent challenges that I can foresee plaguing the economic landscape from a regulatory standpoint. There is uncertainty about the future regulations and laws, especially in the social media industry, tedious processes for tax for budding start-ups and an insufficient amount of financial incentives for the same. 

The big twoIndia has one of the world’s largest start-up ecosystems, with the number of start-ups in the country above 70,000, according to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

However, one of the key challenges that start-ups face in India is the country’s volatile regulatory environment. Even though India has a long history of intercompany transactions which have been in line with the latest trends, gone are the days of “survival of the fittest”. Mergers and acquisitions are currently one of the most useful methods to overcome barriers to entry and improve the development of companies.

Sceptics cannot deny that corporate regulation provides a stimulus in making our economic position secure and sustainable. But on the other hand, the entry of foreign companies through M&A seems to have raised competitive pressure in the domestic market forcing Indian companies to boost their competitiveness.

In this light, continuous and abrupt regulatory changes can create a negative impact on the growth of Indian start-ups. Constant changes in the regulatory atmosphere can be a red-flag to investors, who may end up feeling unsure in their investment decisions due to a fear of unexpected surprises.

Similarly, the social media space has also seen amendments in regulations. The government recently withdrew the controversial Personal Data Protection Bill from the Parliament after the proposed data localisation provision drew severe criticism from various proponents of tech and privacy.

While a comprehensive legal framework to regulate the online space, including bringing separate laws on data privacy, the overall online ecosystem, cybersecurity, telecom regulations, and harnessing non-personal data to boost innovation in the country is being created, we need a bill to fill the lacunae. Privacy experts and tech giants are concerned that the legislation could restrict how they manage sensitive information but give the government broad powers to access it, including exemptions to its probe agencies amongst other things.

Industry stakeholders in the social media space have also expressed concerns over the infeasibility of originator traceability mandated in the IT Rules 2021. In the latest draft, the IT Ministry reiterated that the resident grievance officers of a social media intermediary should redress grievances and thereafter dispose of them within a statutorily stipulated timeline. 

These ramifications, which impose personal liability on chief compliance officers, may impact due diligence requirements and erect entry barriers and ease of doing business. Over 85 per cent of social media and internet intermediaries currently feel that the harsh compliance rules in the new IT Rules 2021 can negatively impact the ease of doing business in India.

Deep foundations, deeper impactIt is prudent for businesses to safeguard themselves in a tide of changes. Unpredictable regulatory measures can affect inner workings and unnecessarily hamper time and resources for a company with true potential.

A few practices like investing in a small but efficient team incentivised based on their output, not hiring immediately after funding but rather restructuring and assessing your needs and ensuring that various compliances are in place from day one can help. They can provide a firm grounding for start-ups to secure themselves even in a changing landscape.

The government can be a friend to businesses and the public alike – but what we are lacking is balance. And without balance, it is very easy to fall into the trap of long-term decline brought on by over-regulation.

The need of the hour is future-proof rules and regulations in line with accepted international standards for enforcement of Data Protection & Data Privacy laws, especially when it comes to personal data, and higher transparency to encourage Foreign Investors including FIIs to gain their trust.

Clear, comprehensive, and well-laid framework and regulations for the emerging sectors of the economy will not only help businesses by creating a helpful operating environment but also give investors confidence in the long run.

The author is an advocate & counsel at the Bombay High Court, working in litigation as well as non-litigation, skilled in negotiation, arbitration, and corporate documentation. Views expressed are personal.

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