ITU South Asia area office and tech innovation centre to be set up in Delhi

• The global telecom body International Telecommunication Union will set up its local area office for South Asia in the national capital.

• The establishment of this ITU local area office will be an important milestone for India.

• It signifies global recognition of the progress India has made in the field of ICT.

• It also places on the responsibility to work with our neighbouring countries to take the benefits of the rapid developments in this technology-driven industry to our people in the South Asia region.

• The ITU South Asia Office will serve nine countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, in addition to the host country.

• This local area office will play a key role ITU’s development programs with focus on Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Land-Locked Developed Countries (LLDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other similarly placed nations in the region.

International Telecommunication Union

• ITU is a United Nations specialised agency for Information and Communication Technologies, with membership of 193 countries and nearly 800 private sector entities and academic institutions.

• The body freezes international standards on telecom technologies that are to be used globally.

• ITU, based in Geneva, Switzerland, is a member of the United Nations Development Group and has 12 regional and area offices in the world.

• ITU coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits.

• It works to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world.

• The ITU is active in areas including broadband Internet, latest-generation wireless technologies, aeronautical and maritime navigation, radio astronomy, satellite-based meteorology, convergence in fixed-mobile phone, Internet access, data, voice, TV broadcasting, and next-generation networks.

• India has been member of ITU since 1869 and has also been a regular member of the ITU Council since 1952.

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Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

Prelims level: ITU

Mains level: Importance of ITU regional centre for India.

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