The Internet is a wonderful place for connecting, learning and entertainment. During the pandemic, the Internet has been the primary channel to connect with the world outside the homes. For children confined within the walls of the house, being online meant that one could continue to learn, play, connect and continue to lead some semblance of normal lives. Unfortunately, being online also has some risks, there are predators, hackers, identity thieves and cyber bullies who can harm these young children. Though the millennials are technology savvy, adept at navigating the online world, however because of their inexperience they are also vulnerable to predators and cyber criminals. Thus it becomes important to remind them about their roles and responsibilities in the digital space.
CyberPeace Foundation, through the ‘eRaksha Competition’ initiative has been spreading awareness amongst children & young adults on the need to be safe, smart and resilient in the cyberspace. In the past two editions of the eRaksha Competition in 2019 and 2020, they have reached across to thousands of children and youth across India, encouraging them to make the most of what the internet has to offer as smart and responsible digital citizens.
CyberPeace Foundation, and NCERT, on 27th May, launched the much awaited, eRaksha Competition 2021 with support from Ministry of Electronics, Information and Technology (MeitY) and National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a unique, interesting and one of the largest cyber safety competitions in the world where young participants will be given the opportunity to express their vision of a Safe and Peaceful Cyber Space.
‘My Idea of a Safe and Peaceful Cyber Space’
The competition invites students from schools and colleges, educators, researchers and parents to put on their creative hats and submit unique and useful ideas to promote safe, responsible and peaceful use of the internet in the form of posters, paintings, videos, websites, blogs, essays or apps. Winners will receive awards and certificates. The shortlisted candidates will receive appreciation certificates. All participants with valid entries will receive participation certificates in the digital format. They can register through www.eraksha.net
With previous year’s success, it is expected that the competition will receive huge participation from children, youth and other stakeholders to share strategies and suggestions to counter the risks in cyberspace and help the society in building a peaceful and healthy digital realm.
“Be aware of your digital footprint and there are traces of all activities that are happening online. One should therefore always remain accountable and responsible while interacting on the Internet. The new intermediary rules empower the children, women and the citizens as they can seek removal of problematic content. The government wants more accountability from these platforms and is working towards it,” Shri Rakesh Maheshwari, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India.
While launching the eRaksha Competition 2021, Dr. Amarendra Prasad Behera, Joint Director, CIET-NCERT said, “Through eRaksha competition, we are directly enabling the stakeholders to understand the complexities and vulnerabilities in cyberspace and through their participations understand ways and develop strategies to counter the threats by building advocacy materials like applications, paintings and so on.”
While addressing the audience, Capt. Vineet Kumar, Founder and President, CyberPeace Foundation mentioned, “The right way to create awareness about CyberSecurity is not just by sharing Dos and Donts but making the netizens aware of the issues by engaging them in activities. With eRaksha Competition 201, we aim to reach not just the students but families and teachers. We need to involve the entire Cyber ecosystem to build sustainable and resilient cyberspace.”