For grid safety, India to check equipment for malware: Govt

4 months ago 24
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NEW DELHI: Tightening import norms, India will check all power equipment bought from China for

malware

and Trojan horses that can be potentially used to trigger electricity grid failures to cripple

economic activity

in the country, power minister R K Singh said.
India has in the recent days taken steps to impose stringent quality control measures and higher tariffs on goods from China as it looks to boost domestic manufacturing to cut reliance on imports. Singh said his

renewable energy

ministry has proposed imposing customs duties on some

solar power

equipment starting August 1st as part of the country’s goal of becoming self-sufficient.
“Power is a very sensitive and strategic sector for any country. Electricity runs all industries, communication systems and all databases including strategic ones and so we have to guard it against any sabotage by countries which are adversaries or possible adversaries,” he said. “We want to build a firewall.”
More tariff barriers, rigorous testing of foreign equipment and prior permission requirements for imports from adversary countries are some of the focus areas of India’s proposed power sector overhaul, he said. The move comes in the backdrop of India contemplating an economic response against China since the June 15

border clashes

.
Singh said some countries who are adversaries or potential adversaries will be identified as “prior reference countries”, and prior government permission will be required before importing any equipment from there.
These countries are mostly the ones which share borders with India, including China and Pakistan.
“We have reports that malware and Trojan horse can be installed which can be activated remotely to bring down the power sector and the economy,” he said. “Whatever equipment is made in India, we will purchase it. And those that are not made in India, we will import but check thoroughly to rule out the presence of any malware or Trojan horse.”

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