One of the world’s largest competition on cyber peace, online safety and cyber-wellness was held from Feb 2019 to August 2019. This competition was organized by CyberPeace Foundation in collaboration with the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and UNESCO New Delhi Office. The aim of this initiative was to sensitize the children and teachers on cybersecurity and get them engaged in a meaningful dialog by expressing their ideas on online safety in the form of painting, slogan, videos and posters.
The competition was announced on the occasion of Safer Internet Day on the 5th of February 2019 and was launched on 15th April 2019. The competition ended on the 31st of August and the award ceremony was organized at UNESCO in New Delhi on the 30th of September 2019. This competition is sponsored by WhatsApp and Google, and supported by Twitter, Instagram, YourStory and AutoBot Infosec.
“The contest was open for all types of schools – Central Government, State Government and Private Schools across India. Students and in-service teachers working in schools were invited to participate. Categories of student and teachers were created to equip them as effective future leaders of this Digital World. As a result of this competition, we successfully spread the message of cyber peace and cybersecurity inclusively, “ said, Capt Vineet Kumar, President, CyberPeace Foundation.
The competition saw overwhelming participation from 28 states and 7 union territories, adding to the diversity of the competition and the overall vision of a completely cyber-aware India. There were 15000+ submissions from across the length and breadth of India including entries from the remotest part of the country such as Andaman and Nicobar Islands to the rural areas in the north-eastern part of India. Entries were also received from Russia and UAE.
The winners were selected after multiple rounds of rigorous evaluation. There were three rounds of assessment before deciding the finalists. The final evaluation was done by an expert jury across all segments connected with Cybersecurity, Government, Industry, Civil society, academia and mental health institutions- (NIMHANS, AIIMS). The winners for the awards were 15 students and 5 teachers across India.
As India touches a figure of 730 million Internet users, and experiences several cyberattacks on individuals every second, need for competitions like eRaksha increases.
The event was inaugurated by Shri Priyank Kanoongo , Hon’ble Chairperson, NCPCR. The prizes were given away by
- Shri S.N. Pradhan, IPS & DG, NDRF,
- Maj. Gen. Arvind Chaturvedi, PVSM, AVSM, SM and Additional Director General, Territorial Army
- Shri Rakesh Maheshwari, Group Coordinator, Cyber Law and eSecurity, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
- Shradha Sharma, Founder, Yourstory
- Mr. Hezekiel Dlamini, Advisor for Communication and Information, UNESCO
- Dr. Indu Kumar, NCERT
- Capt Vineet Kumar, President, CyberPeace Foundation
- Ambassador workshop was also conducted for the winners to take the message of CyberPeace Forward in the community.
The event was attended by representatives from United Nation agencies, Government, Industry, academia (Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navoday Vidyalaya, NCERT, CBSE etc) and civil societies. This competition has definitely galvanized the young minds to think and work for cyber peace in this highly vulnerable cyberspace. The day long celebration which included Musical performance, address by dignitaries, award distribution concluded with creation of Cyberpeace Ambassadors to spread the message of Cyber Peace, online safety and responsible behavior online.
About eRaksha Awards
The idea for the competition was conceptualized as a result of the numerous interactions we have had with students and teachers across the country, on the need for online safety and the emerging trends that have revolutionized cyberspace. We received close to 15000 entries and many many innovative ideas on promoting peace in cyberspace and building resilience. The awards ceremony is a celebration of the ideas and thoughts of young minds who will build the future and actively form society both online and offline.
About CyberPeace Foundation
Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) is a civil society organization, think tank of cyberpeace, cybersecurity and policy experts with the vision of pioneering Cyber Peace Initiatives to build collective resiliency against cybercrimes & global threats of cyber warfare. CPF is involved in Policy Advocacy, Research and Training related to all aspects of Cyber Peace and Cyber Security. Key areas of Cyber Peace Foundation work are in Technology Governance, Policy Review and Advocacy, Capacity and Capability creation and building through partnerships with various government organizations, academic institutions and civil society entities.