Bharat Bytes: supercomputer inauguration; Ukraine’s IT jobs to shift to India; geospatial data regulations; India’s power-grids targeted

Bharat Bytes is Computerworld India’s regular round-up of news from the world of IT.

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IIT Kharagpur inaugurates supercomputer

A petascale supercomputer named PARAM Shakti has been inaugurated at IIT Kharagpur under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)—a joint initiative of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)  and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The supercomputer has 17680 CPU cores and 44 GPUs, and will help researchers solve large-scale problems in AI, big data analytics, cryptography, security, and smart infrastructure.

The supercomputing facility is expected to accelerate the R&D activities in multidisciplinary domains of computational and data sciences. It will provide large-scale computing power to the user community of IIT Kharagpur and neighbouring academic and R&D institutes.

IT jobs may shift to India amidst Ukraine war

Staffing firms such as Randstad, Xpheno, and CIEL HR predict that India might see a temporary shift of IT jobs from Ukraine due to the ongoing war. Xpheno predicts about 10,000 jobs may move to India over the next quarter, but with high potential for a rollback once conditions in Ukraine return to normal. India should only expect short-term job movements.

The roles that could move include shared services across domains, low- or mid-level R&D and engineering work, back-office functions, data processing, customer support, and solution maintenance services. The jobs could also move to the Philippines, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, and regions in Western Europe.

Govt opens access to geospatial data but regulates its creation

Permission to carry out terrestrial mobile mapping, street view creation, and charting of Indian territorial waters will be given only to Indian entities, Union Minister for Science and Technology Jitendra Singh said in the Lok Sabha. All entities producing geospatial data and information will be encouraged to collaborate in a mutually beneficial manner and work on open-linked geospatial data, he said.

These guidelines for acquiring and producing geospatial data and services were issued by the Department of Science and Technology. They enable Indian entities to collect, acquire, generate, prepare, disseminate, store, share, publish, distribute, update, digitize and or create geospatial data, including maps of any spatial accuracy within Indian territory, including underwater, by using any geospatial technology. There are also regulations on the types of data they may not collect.

Hackers continue to target India’s power grid

Threat intelligence firm Recorded Future has detected ongoing targeting of Indian power grid organizations by what it identifies as China-linked adversaries, with the hackers frequently using the privately shared modular backdoor ShadowPad. The intention of these attacks is believed to be to gather information about critical infrastructure systems, or pre-positioning for future activity.

At least seven Indian State Load Despatch Centres that are responsible for carrying out real-time operations for grid control and electricity dispatch saw network intrusions in the last few months. The targeting was concentrated in North India, which is in proximity to the disputed India-China border in Ladakh.

In addition to the targeting of power grid assets, the national emergency response system and the Indian subsidiary of a multinational logistics company were also compromised by the same threat activity group.

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