ITU Council 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.

India elected as Member of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council

India was elected as member of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Council for another 4-year term from 2019 to 2022. The elections to ITU Council were held during ongoing ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018 at Dubai, UAE. India got elected to Council from Asia-Australasia region by securing 165 votes and was among 48 countries elected to Council globally. They were elected by 193 member states of ITU.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

ITU is the UN specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). It has 193 countries as its members and also 800 private-sector entities and academic institutions. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. ITU is responsible for allocating global radio spectrum and satellite orbits. It also develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies to seamlessly interconnect. It also strives to improve access to ICTs among the underserved communities worldwide.