India and the ASEAN countries have The Ministers meeting approved digital work plan which includes a system for combating the use of stolen and counterfeit mobile handsets, among other things.
The plan was approved at the second ASEAN Digital Ministers’ (ADGMIN) meeting held yesterday in the virtual format. Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan Myanmar Transport and Communications Minister Tin Aung San co-chaired the meeting.
The work plan also calls for WiFi access network interface for nationwide public internet, capacity building and knowledge sharing in emerging areas in the field of Information and Communication Technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Advanced Satellite Communication, Cyber Forensics, etc.
It was felt that the ongoing and proposed projects in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) will strengthen collaboration between India and ASEAN by leveraging complementary strengths of each other.
The ADGMIN is an annual meeting of Telecom Ministers of 10 ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) countries -Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam and dialogue partner countries – Australia, Canada, China, EU, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia, UK and the US. The meeting discussed and deliberated on various matters relevant to strengthening regional digital cooperation in the spirit of digital inclusion and integration.
Addressing the gathering, the Indian minister emphasised that ICTs enable and strengthen democratic systems and institutions through enhanced engagement between citizens and the state. He added that use of ICTs promote free speech, human rights and the free flow of information besides expanding citizens’ opportunities to participate in decision-making and have potential to transform lives of people living in rural areas.
He recalled the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to leverage different technological solutions for development of the nation.
Chauhan stated that COVID-19 is not only a challenge for the public health system, but it is also shaking the economic and social orders of the countries. In this scenario, ICTs have emerged as powerful tools to mitigate the effects of pandemic in different spheres of public life and they are foundations of the global economy.