India & ITU Sign Host Country Agreement | 04 Mar 2022

Recently, the Union Minister of Communications and Secretary General of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signed the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for the establishment of an Area Office & Innovation Centre of ITU in New Delhi.

  • The 5Gi standards developed within India have now been recognised by ITU as one of the three technologies for 5G.
  • 5Gi is a locally designed telecommunication network that has been designed by IIT Hyderabad.

What is the Agreement About?

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

What is ITU?

  • It is the United Nations specialised agency for Information and Communication Technologies – ICTs.
  • Founded in 1865 to facilitate international connectivity in communications networks. It is Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • It allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards that ensure networks and technologies seamlessly interconnect, and strives to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide.
  • ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries and over 900 private-sector entities and academic institutions.
    • Earlier, India got elected as a member of ITU Council for another 4-year term - from 2019 to 2022. India has remained a regular member since 1952.
  • Important publication of the ITU is the Global Cybersecurity Index (GCI). India ranked 10th in the 2020 index.

Source: PIB