Amid rising chorus for ban on Chinese goods and equipment due to standoff at the borders, the Power Ministry has issued an order saying all equipment, components, and parts imported (from countries other than China and Pakistan) for use in the power supply system and network shall be tested in the country to examine for any kind of embedded malware/trojans/cyber threat and for adherence to Indian Standards.
All such testings shall be done in certified laboratories that will be designated by the Power Ministry. Any import of equipment/ components/ parts from “prior reference" countries as specified or by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or the directions of these "prior reference" countries will require prior permission of the Government of lndia.
The Power Ministry further said where the equipment components/ parts are imported from "prior reference" countries, with special permission, the protocol for testing in certified and designated laboratories shall be approved by the Power Ministry.
The Ministry said the order was necessary because ''The power supply system is a sensitive and critical infrastructure that supports not only our national defence, vital emergency services including health, disaster response, critical national infrastructure including classified data and communication services, defence installations and manufacturing establishments, logistics services but also the entire economy and the day-to-day life of the citizens of the country. Any danger or threat to power supply system can have catastrophic effects and has the potential to cripple the entire country.''
This is important as the power sector is a strategic and critical sector.
''The vulnerabilities in the power supply system and network mainly arise out of the possibilities of cyber attacks through malware / Trojans embedded in imported equipment,'' the ministry said in its order. It reiterated it has issued the order to protect the security, integrity and reliability of the strategically important and power supply system & network in the country.