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PM Narendra Modi inaugurates World Information Technology Congress 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated World Information Technology Congress (WITC) 2018 in Hyderabad, Telangana via video conference. The theme of this edition of conference was ‘Future Enterprises.’

It was hosted by Telangana Government, in association with country’s top IT body, National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and global IT organization World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA).

Key Facts

This is for first time India is hosting WITC. It will second time that the event will be taking place in Asia after it was hosted in Kualalumpur, Malaysia in 2008. Around 2500 delegates and top IT honchos from across the world participated in the maga IT event. Representatives from IT industries from around 80 countries took part in the conference. Moreover, at least 20 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies and 100 other top executives attended the conference.

World Information Technology Congress (WITC)

WITC is a biennial event and considered as the biggest event of its kind. It aims provide single platform to IT experts, policy and decision makers and Government officials from all over the world together to discuss various challenges and possible solutions to them. It is unique in its global perspective on ICT issues and its ability to draw users, providers, media and academia from around the world. It was first held in 1978 since then held after every two years. The 2014 WITC was held in Mexico and had focused on the theme of ‘Digital World’ and 2016 edition was held in Brasilia, Brazil.

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Saudi Arabia allows women to open their own businesses without male constent

Saudi Arabia has allowed women to open their own businesses and benefit from government e-services without having to prove consent from husband or male guardian. This move marks major step away from country’s strict guardianship system that has ruled it for decades. The expansion of female employment is under Saudi Arabia’s new reform plan for a post-oil era.

Key Facts

Earlier, under guardianship system, women were required to present proof of permission from husband, male guardian, father or brother, to do any government paperwork, travel or enrol in classes. Waiver of this requirement is a significant move on part of Saudi government’s initiative to create gender-neutral society.

The development is also in line with Saudi Arabia’s effort to expand its fast-growing private sector. It is also in line with it move to expand its private sector in order to reduce long dependent on crude oil production for economic revenue.

Background

Oil rich Saudi Arabia is witnessing series of new progressive reforms since Mohammed Bin Salman (32) was appointed as the Crown Prince in June 2017. Under his leadership, oil-rich kingdom is undergoing an economic reform to reduce its dependency on oil and make country more liberal and modern economy.

The prince had pledged ‘moderate and open’ Saudi Arabia in October 2017, breaking with decades old ultra-conservative rule for catering needs of foreign investors and appease Saudi youth. Prince is also chief architect behind Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ reform programme, which seeks to elevate percentage of women in workforce from 22% to nearly one-third.

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