India to host ITU’s Area Office & Innovation Centre in New Delhi

India signs Host Country Agreement with the International Telecommunication Union for establishment of Area Office & Innovation Centre in New Delhi

India has signed the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for the establishment of an Area Office & Innovation Centre in New Delhi.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Communications, Government of India and Houlin Zhao, Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signed the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for the establishment of an Area Office & Innovation Centre of ITU in New Delhi on 3rd March 2022.

The Area Office and Innovation Centre is expected to serve South Asian countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India. The Host Country Agreement provides the legal and financial framework for establishment and operations of the Area Office.

The Area Office shall also have an Innovation Centre, which is expected to give impetus to research and development in telecommunication technologies in South Asia. The Innovation Centre will provide opportunities to academics, start-ups, and SMEs to showcase their innovation at a global stage. The Area Office and the Innovation Centre is expected to be operational by mid 2022.

India has been taking concrete steps towards development of telecom standards. The 5Gi standards developed within India have now been recognised by ITU as one of the three technologies for 5G. With more than 1.2 billion telecom subscribers, a robust ecosystem of start-ups and innovation hubs, India is poised to contribute meaningfully in developing telecom standards.

International Telecommunication Union is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries and over 900 private-sector entities and academic institutions.

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