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India Elected Co-Chair of ITU’s Digital Innovation Board

Dr. Neeraj Mittal, Secretary of India’s Department of Telecommunications, led a significant delegation to Geneva for strategic meetings at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Headquarters from March 18-20. The aim was to enhance collaboration and explore innovative initiatives in telecommunications and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors.

Election of Dr. Neeraj Mittal as Co-Chair

  • Dr. Neeraj Mittal was unanimously elected as the co-chair of the Digital Innovation Board of ITU, which operates under the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance for Digital Development.
  • The Digital Innovation Board comprises ministers and vice ministers of telecom/ICT from 23 member countries of ITU, with a mission to foster innovation and entrepreneurship for a more inclusive digital future.

Objectives of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance

  • The alliance aims to address significant unmet needs of ITU Membership in innovation, as outlined in the Kigali Action Plan and outcomes of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2022.
  • It operates through three main vehicles: the Digital Transformation Lab, Network of Acceleration Centres, and the Digital Innovation Board.

Strategic Discussions and Bilateral Meetings

  • Meetings with ITU officials, including Dr. Cosmos Zavazava, focused on scaling up ITU Area Office India, Digital Transformation Lab, Acceleration centres, and the Global Innovation Centre in India.
  • Dr. Mittal proposed hosting the next meeting of the Digital Innovation Board in India alongside the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) 2024.
  • Bilateral discussions with Japan and Bahrain emphasized collaboration on AI, 5G use cases, cybersecurity, and mutual revisiting of MOUs on ICT.

Collaborative Initiatives and Future Engagements

  • Active collaboration proposals were made on AI, 5G use cases, and Quantum Products certification between India and Japan.
  • Both Japan and Bahrain agreed to collaborate actively on various ICT sectors, including AI, 5G, and cybersecurity.
  • India invited participation from Japanese Government and Industry Delegates in events like WTSA 2024 and India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2024.

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