World telecom conference to discuss digital b'casting

NEW DELHI: Even as Telecom Secretary P J Thomas was elected Chairman of the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference which opened today in Hyderabad, there was a unanimous call from all speakers 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.
Communications and Information Technology Minister A 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.

ITU Secretary-General Dr. Hamadoun Tour? 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, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Director 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, Conference Chairman Thomas said 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.?

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 and ICT policy and regulation.

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