If you thought that being the security chief of an organization is a challenging position, then consider what it can mean to be the security chief of a nation of a billion people. Needless to say, such a position comes with great responsibility and requires the best of the best in leadership. The man who has conducted this responsibility with utmost integrity and great success is none other than Dr. Gulshan Rai.
In 2015, when the Indian government decided to create a cyber-security chief’s position under the Prime Minister’s Office, it found Dr. Rai to be the apt candidate to do justice to this position. As the first National Cyber Security Coordinator for the Office of the Prime Minister of India, he helped set the framework for country’s cyber security program.
The launch of Digital India initiative, which aims to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, has opened up government programs to cyber threats. Greater digitization of government initiatives also means a widening attack surface for the threat actors to take advantage of. Against this backdrop, Dr. Rai’s role as the first cyber security chief has been of great significance, setting the benchmark for his successors to come.
His distinguished career of over 35 years spans across different aspects of the IT domain, including e-Governance, cybersecurity, cyber laws and several related fields covering policies and operations. Previously, Dr. Rai served as Director General, CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team) under the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY).
Dr. Rai has brought his deep understanding of the industry into the development of key policy documents, including the software policy and the IT Act for E-Commerce. He is also credited with authoring India’s first cyber security policy.
Many of India’s major computerization projects have his contribution. Among the most notable include setting up he first large-scale education and research network in close collaboration with leading educational and research institution as Executive Director of ERNET. During his tenure at ERNET, the National Knowledge Network program was designed and evolved.
Dr. Rai also led work around the establishment of India’s National Watch and Alert System as part of the country’s cyber security initiative and played a lead role in designing India’s Income Tax PAN Number and the architecture of the computing system and environment at the Central Board of Direct Taxes.
Dr. Rai serves on the Expert Committee on Data Protection chaired by Justice BN Krishna and has represented India in official forums, bilateral discussions and negotiations in the areas of cybersecurity and internet governance.