Broadband India Forum (BIF) jointly with PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) commemorated 50 years of the World Telecommunications & Information Society Day in Delhi with a programme that had cross-industry participation.
The theme of the programme mirrored the ITU’s 2019 theme for World Telecom Day (WTD) of ‘Bridging the Standardisation Gap.’ The event was presided over by the Chief Guest, Anshu Prakash, Additional Secretary, DoT, Government of India along with A Seshagiri Rao, CMD, TCIL, D.K Aggarwal, Senior Vice President, PHDCCI, Sanjay Aggarwal, Vice President, PHDCCI, Sandeep Agarwal, Chairman, Telecom Committee, PHDCCI, among others.
In addition to a video message by Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General, the stellar line-up of speakers focused on sharing important ideas leading to intelligent dialogue around enabling quality global ICT standards and the role that India can play in enabling this.
The chief guest, Anshu Prakash, Additional Secretary, DoT, Government of India while deliberating on the theme – ‘Bridging the Standardisation Gap’ shared his concern that Indian industry, including SMEs and MSMEs should come forward to create Indian owned IPR that can be integrated into the global telecommunications ecosystem and also help bridge the standardisation gap. He congratulated Broadband India Forum on preparing a 10-point agenda to bridge the standardisation gap and said that this would be studied and deliberated upon by the government.
BIF also used the occasion to create a 10-point action-plan around bridging the standardisation gap. This action-plan has been shared with the government to be studied and deliberated upon. There was a Formal exchange of MoU signed between Broadband India Forum (BIF) & Electronics Sector Skills Council of India (ESSCI) in the presence of the dignitaries.
Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General in his video address said, “This year we will be focusing on ‘bridging the standardization gap’. Setting standards is a fundamental pillar of ITU’s mission as a specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies. You want to connect to the internet, enjoy a sports event on TV, listen to radio in the car or watch a video on your smartphone? ITU standards make it possible. The upcoming 5G standards, especially if coupled with artificial intelligence, will support a new range of applications which we will soon take for granted; from self-driving cars to safer and smart cities. ITU standards ensure interoperability, open up global markets and spur innovation and growth. They are good for developed and developing countries. They help develop the ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals.”
Anshu Prakash, Additional Secretary (T), DoT, Government of India in his address said, “There’s been a disparity between India’s ability and its contributions to developing telecommunications standards. We need to exercise more influence in the setting of these standards. Nearly 5-10% of the value of products that the Indian telecommunications market uses is towards payments of global IPR. This is when many of these products have had Indian brains behind it. We want more development and fabrication of future products done in India and by Indians. We need to see more investments by Indian industry in this area. Entrepreneurs needs to overcome their hesitation and come forward and work with other stakeholders to enable this. Start-ups and MSMEs also need to come forward as they too have a lot to gain. I believe that the TSDSI membership too needs to be expanded. Finally, what we need is to enhance collaboration between industry, academia, civil-society to accelerate the development of Indian standards with the government taking the lead role as facilitator and enabler.”
D.K Aggarwal, Senior Vice President, PHD Chambers of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) said, “Telecommunications has made a huge difference to the lives of Indians and must be celebrated not only on behalf of the ITU and its member nations but on behalf of all Indian stakeholders who have enabled and growth the industry domestically. There is a disparity between developing and developed countries. This gap cannot be allowed to continue and needs to be bridged at the earliest. I call upon all stakeholders – from telecom service providers, manufacturers, technology innovators, think-tanks and finally policy enablers to continue deliberating and working on this cause. The role that India plays can I believe, be a beacon to other developing nations working towards the same end.”
Sanjay Aggarwal, Vice President, PHD Chambers of Commerce & Industry (PHDCCI) said, “The Indian telecom sector is the second largest in the world in terms of subscribers. We’ve all been witness to the rapid transformation of the economic, social and cultural fabric of this country on the back of this transformative growth of the telecom industry. This sector is the backbone of the Indian economy and therefore there can be no neglect in terms of planning for the future. As we talk of enabling global telecom standardisation, we need to focus on developing and promoting Indian technologies that are subsequently absorbed and prosper in India and internationally.”
M F Farooqui, Chairman, BIF said, “India shares the dream and vision of ITU to realise the world as one nation and knowledge society. The theme of the WTISD 2019 – ‘Bridging the standardisation gap’ is pertinent and we are fully dedicated towards supporting ITU in connecting the world together & empowering consumers through standardization processes.”
T.V. Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum said, “On this occasion of ITU’s incorporation day being celebrated as World Telecom and Information Society day, India must introspect our contributions to Standards development process so far and gear-up for increased participation in global standards development The need of the hour is for Indian innovators and technologists to understand the complete process of bringing our unique problem definitions and the potential solution approaches in collaboration with global experts and create timely and effective standards which are not just effective for India but also for application in similar milieu elsewhere. It is imperative that India with its huge experience and aspirations, becomes an effective and integral part of global standards making process to support and drive the path of its economic and social growth.”