The global telecom body International Telecommunication Union will set up its local area office for South Asia in the national capital, telecom minister Manoj Sinha said Tuesday.
"The ITU South Asia Area Office and Technology Innovation Centre will be established in New Delhi. This was announced by Houlin Zhao, Secretary General (SG) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), during the 4th BRICS Communications Ministers Meeting held in Durban, South Africa recently," an official statement said.
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.
"The establishment of this ITU local area office will be an important milestone for us, as it signifies global recognition of the progress we have made in the field of ICT. It also places on us 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," Sinha said.
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 - which together account for nearly 24 per cent of the global population.
India has been member of ITU since 1869 and has also been a regular member of the ITU Council since 1952.
"This local area office will play a key role in organising capacity and capability building programmes for the region, and in accelerating the structured implementation of 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," telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.
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