India to Host Global Conference on Cyber Space 2017: A Giant Leap Towards a Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace

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New Delhi: India, for the first time ever, is going to host the Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), one of the world’s largest conferences in the field of Cyber Space and related issues, on 23 & 24 November 2017, at Aerocity, New Delhi. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate the mega event, while Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs will deliver the keynote address in the Valedictory function.

Incepted in 2011 in London, second GCCS was held in 2012 in Budapest with focus on relationship between internet rights and internet security, which was attended by 700 delegates from nearly 60 countries. The third edition of GCCS was held in 2013 in Seoul with commitment to Open and Secure Cyberspace. The fourth version GCCS 2015 was held on April 16-17, 2015 in The Hague, Netherlands which saw participation from 97 countries.

Themed on Cyber4All: A Secure and Inclusive Cyberspace for Sustainable Development, this is the fifth edition of GCCS wherein international leaders, policymakers, industry experts, think tanks and cyber experts will gather to deliberate on issues and challenges for optimally using cyber space. The overall goals of GCCS 2017 are to promote the importance of inclusiveness and human rights in global cyber policy, to defend the status quo of an open, interoperable and unregimented cyberspace, to create political commitment for capacity building initiatives to address the digital divide and assist countries, and to develop security solutions in a balanced fashion that duly acknowledge the importance of the private sector and technical community.

While briefing the press, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon’ble Minister for Electronics & IT and Law & Justice, said, “This is a historic moment for all of us to host the Fifth edition of the Global Conference of Cyberspace in India. I believe it is recognition of India’s emerging role as a massive cyber power, accelerated by the Digital India push, which has acquired international acknowledgment. The GCCS 2017 is certainly in accord with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision to transform India into a digitally empowered country. GCCS 2017 will give the world’s cyber community a unique opportunity to learn from global experience and expert insight, and discover more about the technology led transformation being engineered in India. As India is poised to become a US$1 Trillion digital economy and lead the digital revolution in the world, it is imperative to formulate and put across a robust cyber space.”

“The GCCS 2017 is going to be four times bigger than its previous edition in terms of its magnitude. The last conference held in The Netherlands saw about 1800 delegates, and I am happy to announce that we have over 10000 delegates who will participate in person. There will also be virtual participation from over 2800 locations across the world will be connected in an interactive mode. We have had over 40 Run-up events around the world since March 2017 to precede the main event that received an unprecedented response from the policy makers, industry, academia, civil society and think tanks. We look forward to cooperation and knowledge sharing among countries to implement and replicate successful initiatives as one of the major expected outcomes of this conference. ”added Shri Prasad.

GCCS 2017: Key Highlights
· Tens of thousands of delegates (Both in person and through Webinar/ Video Conference from around the world). Millions will watch over webcast from 5 Conference locations at the venue
· Representatives from 124 countries
· 33 Ministerial delegates from 31 countries already including PM of Sri Lanka
· 2800 locations to be virtually connected in an interactive mode
· 15 Parallel sessions & 12 Side events
· Participation of policy makers, industry, academia, civil society and think tanks
· Grand Finale of worldwide Peace-a-thon Events

The plenary sessions and other activities during GCCS 2017 have been designed around the themes of Cyber4Inclusive Growth, Cyber4DigitalInclusion, Cyber4Security and Cyber4Diplomacy. During various sessions and activities focused around these themes, GCCS 2017 will bring forth the business, empowerment and developmental potential of Cyber space for realizing the goals of sustainable development.

GCCS 2017 in India is going to be the biggest ever cyber event of its kind. Including about 35 run up events, more than ten thousand delegates from more than 123 countries are expected to participate in person
· About 7000 in run-up events held by Academia, Civil Society, Industry and Policy Makers since March, 2017 in India and abroad.
· More than 1000 in 13 Curtain Raiser Events
· More than 2000 (about 700 from abroad and 1500 from India) in 18 Plenary & Parallel Sessions and 12 Side Events on November 23 and 24

33 ministers from various nations dealing with the subject matter of cyber space (ICT or similar ministries in some countries and Foreign Ministry in others) have already confirmed. Prime Minister of Sri Lanka also is expected to come for the inaugural ceremony.

More than 7000 people have already registered on the website; only 2500 will get their invites to the conference. Till now, some of the eminent speakers at the conference who have already confirmed participation include Ministers from various countries such as France, Russia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Portugal, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom; Mr. Houlin Zhao (Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union); Mr. Mukesh Ambani (Chairman, MD, RIL); Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal (Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises); Mr. Tarek Kamel (Senior Advisor to President & SPV, Government And IGO Engagement, ICANN); Ms. Marina Kalijurand (Chair, Global Commission on Stability of Cyber Space, Estonia); Mr. David Martinon (Ambassador for Cyber Diplomacy and the Digital Economy, France); Mr. Uriël “Uri” Rosenthal (Ex- Foreign Minister, The Netherlands); Mr. LaliteshKatragadda(Founder, Google Map Maker); Mr. VeniMarkovski (Bulgarian Internet pioneer, Co-founder and CEO of bol.bg); Ms. Debjani Ghosh (Former MD, Intel, South Asia); Mr. Saurabh Srivastava (Founding Member, Indian Angel Network);Mr. Paul Wilson (Director General, APNIC).

The list of illustrious speakers from around the world can be viewed at www.gccs2017.in/speaker.

In a first ever initiative, 800 locations for Video Conference and 2000 locations are being made available for Live Webinar across the world. Assuming average participation of about 10 at each location, nearly thirty thousand persons are expected to participate virtually during live sessions and even ask questions. This has been made possible using a combination of NIC VC (200 locations) and Learning Management System (2600) locations.

6 oldest IITs and IISc are among academic partners of the GCCS. Leading multinationals, SBI and PNB also are among the sponsors.

In a first time ever initiative, a world-wide Hackathon and Appathonare being hosted by top Universities worldwide. 15 winning teams will compete in the grand finale in Delhi during Curtain Raiser. Prize winners are proposed to be honoured by the Hon’ble PM.

GCCS 2017 – A Truly Digital One: A web-based Portal and a unique app have been created to inter-alia include the following so as to have a less-paper Conference:

· Pre-registration on the web by the target group
· Work-flow based verification by Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Home Affairs (including IB)
· Approval and generation of Invitation Letter
· Confirmation by the applicant and subsequent generation of discount codes for travel and stay.
· Final travel programme (including hotel stay)
· Reception at flights / hotels
· Assignment of blocks
· Electronic check-in to sessions
· Chat among delegates and fixing of appointments for side meetings.
· E-Food Coupons
· Priority of questions for checked in users

The tentative program for GCCS 2017 has been planned on the lines of previous conferences to ensure uniformity and continuity of GCCS. The detailed program has also been made available on https://gccs2017.in/. The conference is planned as a two-day event which will include an inaugural, plenary sessions, parallel sessions and valedictory session. GCCS 2017’s structure has tracks with plenary sessions and parallel sessions. These are a mix of keynote addresses, panel discussions, parallel sessions, along with side events and curtain raiser events.

Besides the conference sessions, technical poster exhibition and a digital exhibition showcasing over 20 exhibitors from government, industry, sponsors etc. will also be showcased. As a post conference event, we are happy to announce that a doctoral colloquium co-organized by IIT, to learn about the standards/methodology and global research practices in e-Governance. We are also releasing a coffee table book which documents 25 success stories from 5 continents. A Country book with thought leaders visioning the future of Digital India, and its contribution to a Safe and Peaceful Cyber Space is another expected output.