India has been witnessing a technology revolution where smart phone, Internet connectivity and wireless access have become readily available. With increased access to technology, its abuses have also significantly increased. Many times these cyber abuses are done by juveniles who are not aware of the consequences of their cyber activities.
For instance, very few children/juveniles are aware of the consequences of cyber bullying that has considerably increased in India. While physical bullying is visible and can be remedied against by school authorities and parents yet cyber bullying is invisible and it has a deeper impact upon the psychology of the victim juvenile.
Most of the time the victim does not come forward to report such cyber bullying. Further, schools are also ill equipped to deal with cyber bullying in the absence of a procedure to handle the same. Till now there is not mandate to handle cyber bullying at the school level.
However, things would be changed very soon with the issuance of CBSE Guidelines for Prevention of Bullying and Ragging in Schools 9th March 2015, Reg: (D.O. No. 12-19/2012-RMSA-I) (PDF). Due to increasing cases of physical and cyber-bullying of students, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has directed all its affiliated schools to form an anti-bullying committee. The committee should comprise of vice-principal, a senior teacher, school doctor, counsellor, parent-teacher representative, school management representative, legal representative and peer educators.
CBSE has also recommended strict actions, against anyone found bullying, ranging from a written warning to even rustication of the student. CBSE has issued a several measures to stop bullying incidents in schools. Schools have to prominently put up a display board warning students of strict action if they are found indulging in the act of bullying another student. Bullying should be strictly prohibited on the premises.
Sadhana Parashar, professor and director (academic, research, training and innovation), CBSE said, “In view of the misconduct, school management should take action as per the gravity of the situation. The recommended actions being an oral or written warning to the student, suspension from attending school for a specified period, withholding of the results, imposition of fine up to a specified amount, rustication from school in rarest of the rare cases and transferring a student from one school to another school. Further, the school must be cautious that the victim and also the bully be given opportunities for change”.
Perry4Law’s Techno Legal Base (PTLB) welcomes this move of CBSE and fully supports this initiative. PTLB also strongly recommends that school children in India must be suitably educated about cyber issues like cyber bullying. We believe that protecting children in cyberspace is a collective responsibility of all stakeholders, including Indian government. At a time when Indian government is adopting Digital India project, our society at large is required to take care of our children while they use Internet and information and communication technology (ICT). We at Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research and Development in India (CECSRDI) also recommend that the Digital India initiative of India must also include cyber security awareness for children within its objectives to protect our young generation.
We believe that online skills development and education initiatives can play a significant role in educating our young generation. Virtual campus and e-learning platforms can provide “learn as you wish models” to school students that they can access from both school and their homes.
PTLB’s Online Skills Development and Training Platform has dedicated separate skills development, education and training courses for school students in the fields like cyber law, cyber security, etc. More details and the enrollment procedure would be announced by us very soon. Till then please visit the website and its segments on a regular basis.