ITU Current Affairs - 2019

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17 May: World Telecommunication and Information Society Day observed

On 17 May, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) was celebrated throughout the world. The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of WTISD.

About WTISD

  • Background: The World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was first observed on 17 May since 1969. The day marks the establishment of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and also the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 in Paris. Since 1969 it is being celebrated every year.
  • Objective: It seeks to help raise awareness about possibilities which can be brought to societies and economies with the use of Internet and other information and communication technologies (ICT). It also promotes awareness about using ICT to explore ways to bridge digital divide.

About WTISD 2019

  • This year’s theme was: ‘Bridging the standardization gap’.
  • 2019 theme will allow International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Members and other stakeholders to focus on opportunities:
  1. To promote implementation of international standards in developing countries.
  2. To Increase participation of developing countries in ITU’s standards-making process.
  3. To empower local experts in standardization process at national, regional and international levels.

About ITU

  • ITU was established in 1865 and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Function: It is the specialized agency of United Nations (UN) for issues concerning information and communication technologies (ICTs). The fundamental pillar of ITU’s mission is setting standards. ITU standards also help accelerate ICTs for all Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
  • It is a member of United Nations Development Group (UNDP).
  • Members: 193 countries and about 800 sector members including academic institutions and private sector entities has membership of ITU.
  • India: Since 1869 India is an active member of ITU. It became a regular member of ITU Council in 1952. In November 2018, India was reelected as a ITU Council’s Member for another 4-year term beginning 2019 to 2022.

Utkarsh Bangla and Sabooj Sathi Schemes of West Bengal gets Global Recognition

The schemes of the West Bengal government ‘Utkarsh Bangla’ (skill training of youth) and ‘Sabooj Sathi’ (cycles for students) won the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) awards of UN.

Utkarsh Bangla got the topmost award and emerged as a winner in the Capacity Building category and the Sabooj Sathi was ranked in the first five as a champion project under ICT application: E-Government category.

Utkarsh Bangla

Utkarsh Bangla Scheme is aimed at providing vocational training to school dropouts. The beneficiaries of the scheme will be trained in driving, tailoring, repairing television and other electronic equipment’s, beautician courses etc.

Sabooj Sathi

Sabooj Sathi is a scheme of West Bengal government for distribution of bicycles to the students of class IX to XII studying in Govt. run and Govt. aided Schools and Madrashas.The scheme was launched in September 2015.

World Summit on the Information Society Awards

World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Awards were instituted as per requests from the WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private-sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs as an enabler of the development.

WSIS is a global multi-stakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing sustainable development. The summit is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with other UN organizations.

The Summit provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies.

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