Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) area office and Innovation Centre in India at a programme in Vigyan Bhawan on Wednesday.
During the programme, the Prime Minister will also unveil Bharat 6G Vision Document and launch 6G R&D Test Bed. He will also launch ‘Call before u dig’ App and address the gathering on the occasion.
ITU is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). Headquartered in Geneva, it has a network of field offices, regional Offices and area offices. India signed a Host Country Agreement in March 2022 with ITU for establishment of the Area Office.
The Area Office in India is envisaged to have an Innovation Centre embedded in it, making it unique among other area offices of ITU. Fully funded by India, the Area Office is located on the second floor of the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) building at Mehrauli New Delhi.
It will serve India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Iran, enhancing coordination among nations and fostering mutually beneficial economic cooperation in the region.
The Bharat 6G vision document is prepared by the Technology Innovation Group on 6G (TIG-6G) that was constituted in November 2021 with members from various Ministries and Departments, research and development institutions, academia, standardisation bodies, Telecom Service Providers and industry to develop roadmap and action plans for 6G in India.
The 6G Test bed will provide academic institutions, industry, start-ups, MSMEs, industry etc, a platform to test and validate the evolving ICT technologies. The Bharat 6G Vision Document and 6G Test bed will provide an enabling environment for innovation, capacity building and faster technology adoption in the country.
Exemplifying the Prime Minister’s vision of integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects under PM Gati Shakti, the Call Before You Dig (CBuD) app is a tool envisaged for preventing damage to underlying assets like optical fibre cables, that occurs because of uncoordinated digging and excavation, leading to loss of about Rs 3000 crore every year to the country.
The mobile app CBuD will connect excavators and asset owners through SMSand email notification and click to call, so that there are planned excavations in the country while ensuring the safety of underground assets.
CBuD, which illustrates the adoption of ‘Whole-of-government approach’ in the governance of the country, will benefit all stakeholders by improving ease of doing business. It will save potential business loss and minimise discomfort to the citizens due to reduced disruption in essential services like road, telecom, water, gas and electricity.
The programme will witness participation of IT/Telecom Ministers of various Area Offices of ITU, Secretary General and other senior officials of ITU, Heads of United Nations/other international bodies in India, Ambassadors, Industry Leaders, Start-up and MSME, leaders Academia, students and other stakeholders.