Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) launched the Indian Web Browser Development Challenge (IWBDC) on 9th August 2023 in Launch Programme organized at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Smt. Sunita Verma, Scientist G & Group Coordinator (R&D in Electronics & Information Technology), Shri Arvind Kumar, Controller of Certifying Authorities, MeitY and Dr. S. D. Sudarshan, Executive Director C-DAC, Bangalore jointly launched the browser development challenge. The challenge brochure was also unfolded by the dignitaries on the dais.
The Indian Web Browser Development Challenge is spearheaded by MeitY, CCA and C-DAC Bangalore.
The IWBDC is an Open Challenge Competition that seeks to inspire and empower technology enthusiasts, innovators, and developers from all corners of the country to create an indigenous web browser with its own trust store with an inbuilt CCA India root certificate, cutting edge functionalities and enhanced security & data privacy protection features.
Proposed browser would also focus on accessibility and user friendliness, ensuring built-in support for individuals with diverse abilities. Moreover, the browser envisions the ability to digitally sign documents using a crypto token, bolstering secure transactions and digital interactions.
Speaking during the event Smt Sunita Verma, Scientist G & GC (R&D in Electronics & IT) conveyed the message of Shri Alkesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, MeitY that this challenge marks a significant stride towards an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, designed to strengthen India’s digital sovereignty through the development of the Indian Web Browser.
Expressing the views of Shri Bhuvnesh Kumar, Additional Secretary, MeitY, Smt. Verma added that MeitY has been at the forefront of several initiatives that are reshaping the future of our nation. This challenge addresses one of the critical components – Web browser – through which the end users accessing the Internet.
Smt Sunita Verma said that Digital India has revolutionized how our nation functions, empowering citizens, boosting the economy and enhancing overall governance. As we move forward, embracing technology and promoting indigenous innovation will be pivotal in realizing the vision of a self-reliant, digitally empowered India. She invited all the innovative minds of the country, be it academia, industry, start-up or individual to participate in this challenge and come out with an innovative web browser made in India for the world.
Shri Arvind Kumar, CCA, MeitY highlighted the crucial role played by CCA in ensuring the trustworthiness and security of digital certificates issued in India and help create a robust PKI infrastructure, enabling secure electronic transactions across the country. However, for SSL certificates, the country has been dependent for SSL certifies issued by Roots of Foreign entities. Initialising to develop its Own Browser with inbuilt India Root Certificate would help overcoming this challenge. India has moved a step ahead for making the country Internet Resilient which refers to a country’s ability to withstand and recover from various disruptions and threats that may impact its internet infrastructure and connectivity.
Shri S D Sudarshan, ED, C-DAC Bangalore explained the whole challenge competition. He mentioned that anybody can take part in this challenge and submit idea. There will be three rounds in the whole challenge, after first round i.e. ideation round 18 entries would be selected. In the second round 8 participants would be shortlisted to enter into final round. Finally one winner, first runner up and second runner-up would be selected. Throughout the challenge technical mentorship would be provided. Out of the total prize pool of Rs. 3.41 crore, winner would be facilitate with Rs. One crore. The winner would also be supported further to take the developed browser to next levels.
The programme was participated by more than 200 participants from government departments, industry, start-up and academia through on-line and off-line mode. A panel discussion was also organized wherein the queries of the participants were answered by MeitY, CCA and C-DAC officials.
The programme concluded with a call for all innovative minds to participate in the challenge and come out with an Indian Web Browser.