This article has been written by Shubhangi Khandelwal, student at
KES Shri Jayantilal H Patel Law College.
Image Courtesy: The Print
Our Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi over time has propagated the idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat, i.e. self-reliant nation. This ideology doesn’t signify India cutting ties with the world, it signifies the need for India to gain a bigger part in the global economy. Figures suggest that India is the largest importer of Chinese products, but the share of India in China’s exports is not enough to make a dent. India has a giant trade deficit in its balance of trade, while China is reaping the fruits of trade relations. In this scenario, it is indeed cumbersome to throw stones and not get hurt on the foot, but it is not impossible.
As per Government-issued notifications on 29.06.2020 and 02.09.2020, India has banned over 170 Chinese applications, which include Tik Tok, CamScanner, and PUBG. The order will be imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000 and Blocking Rules 2009. Section 69A of the Information Technology Act 2000 empowers the Central Government to issue directions to block public access to information from any computer source. These directions can be issued in the interest of national sovereignty, security, etc. The Government stated that the ban has been brought in the interest of national sovereignty and integrity of India in cyberspace.
Since 2018, China has taken over the apps market in India, statistics show that 5 out of top 20 apps in India are from China. In recent times, India has beaten the USA in the number of mobile app downloads, making India an important market for China. The imposition of the ban is a hindrance for China to gain global dominance in digital space. The ban comes in the time wherein research into the functionalities and usage patterns of the Chinese apps have raised concerns in the areas of data security. The ban will lead to severe losses to China in advertising, sponsorship and business deals. In addition to this, there will be a loss of loyal customer base developed through the usage of the app. China has publicly voiced their dissent for the ban, claiming discrimination and breach of the rules and treaties of GATT and GATS under WTO.
Atmanirbhar Bharat is a golden opportunity and a great incentive for India to rise in the global economy. In early 2020, there was a massive demand for PPE Kits in India but the supply could not match up. To combat the problem, India started manufacturing and now over 600 Indian Companies produce around 5 lakh PPE kits daily. Apart from that, India was swift to develop and launch FAU-G, Indian version of PUBG. This adaptation portrays the ability of India to be self-reliant and depicts Atmanirbhar Bharat can be a reality. This ideology is not directed at China entirely, it is directed to every citizen of Bharat, to contribute and prove to the world that India is independent and India is strong.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Martin Luther King