LCT to Lead to Equal Opportunirties and Inclusive Growth: A Raja
The ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10) opened today in Hyderabad with a call to meet the connectivity targets by 2015. This high-level global meeting will focus on development priorities in telecommunications and information and communication technologies (ICT) and agree on the programmes, projects and initiatives to implement them.
Mr P. J. Thomas, Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Government of India, was elected Chairman of the Conference.
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India, Mr A. Raja welcomed delegates from around the world to Hyderabad. Speaking on the occasion Mr Raja said, ICTs can facilitate faster development of various social and economic sectors in any country. ICTs lead to equal opportunities for all mankind, especially perceptible improvement for the most vulnerable parts of society in rural and remote areas, contributing to the inclusive growth of society, he added. The Minister noted India’s impressive growth in the field of software development and in the applications of space technology which are aimed at national development in areas like communication, broadcasting, distance education, earth exploration services, and space sciences. Mr Raja hoped that increased general awareness among the masses created by the knowledge society would bring enhanced global peace, justice and respect for each other, which are the corner stones for the elimination of disparity and poverty worldwide.
Hyderabad is an emerging hub for ICTs in the region. Participants from around the world have gathered here to promote international cooperation, regional initiatives and partnerships that can sustain and strengthen telecommunication and ICT infrastructure and institutions in developing countries.
ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Touré said What is decided and defined here over the next two weeks will shape not just the future of ICT development over the next four years, but the future shape of the very world we live in. It will change the way in which social, economic and ICT development happens, he added.
Appreciating India’s ICT success story, the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, Mr. Sami Al Basheer said, India is a remarkable place for ITU to hold the World Telecommunication Development Conference. He said India has shown, in very concrete and dramatic terms, the power of ICTs to stimulate social and economic development. He added that while each country has its own challenges to face, in the end overall goals are the same. Emphasizing need to constantly innovate and keep up with dynamics in the market place, Mr. Al Basheer said for future needs better targeted and more positive regulation has to be invented that focuses on incentives rather than obligations. He proposed a new vision complemented with dedicated resources to deal with the issues of connectivity in least developed countries.
In his opening remarks the Conference Chairman, Mr P.J. Thomas said that the world now acknowledges that technological progress and innovations are long term drivers of economic growth, especially in developing countries. As a key technology producer, ICT has contributed to a positive macroeconomic impact in GDP growth besides providing spillovers and externalities which are bringing enormous benefits for the economy. New services generated by ICT in the forms of e-commerce, e-finance, and e-governance are contributing towards greater economic efficiency while raising the living standard of citizens.”
Following the conclusion of the World Summit on the Information Society in 2005, this year marks a crucial mid-term period to review the implementation of its objectives. The Hyderabad Action Plan, which will set the agenda for telecommunication and ICT development over the next four years, will be a key input to the overall review of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the United Nations in New York next September.
The World Telecommunication Development Conference is convened every four years. In Hyderabad edition, one thousand two hundred and twenty six delegates from 142 member countries of ITU are participating in the conference. The Delegations from six countries are led by the Ministers. Discussions at WTDC-10 in Hyderabad will focus on:
· Broadband connectivity
· Digital broadcasting
· Open source software
· Cyber security
· E-accessibility for people with disabilities
· E-applications, including health
· Human capacity building
· Emergency communications· ICT policy and regulation