Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday unveiled Bharat’s 6G Vision Document and inaugurated the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Area office and Innovation Centre.
At the event, Prime Minister also launched the 6G R&D Test Bed and the ‘Call before u dig’ App.
Addressing the event, the Prime Minister said, “Today, when India is presiding over the G-20, reducing the regional divide is one of its priorities. When we talk about bridging the technological divide, it is very natural to expect from India.”
The Prime Minister also assertained in the event that “telecom technology is empowering our citizens in India”.
Noting that India has seen a rapid surge in the number of internet users in rural areas in recent years, the Prime Minister said “it shows the power of Digital India.”
Bharat 6G vision document is prepared by the Technology Innovation Group on 6G (TIG-6G) that was constituted in November 2021 with members from various Ministries/Departments, research and development institutions, academia, standardisation bodies, Telecom Service Providers and industry to develop a roadmap and action plans for 6G in India.
6G Testbed will provide academic institutions, industries, start-ups, and MSMEs, and industry, among others, a platform to test and validate evolving ICT technologies. The Bharat 6G Vision Document and 6G Testbed will also provide an enabling environment for innovation, capacity building and faster technology adoption in the country.
The Call Before You Dig (CBuD) app is a tool envisaged for preventing damage to underlying assets like optical fibre cables, that occurs because of uncoordinated digging and excavation, leading to the loss of thousands of crore every year. The mobile app CBuD will connect excavators and asset owners through SMS/Email notifications and click-to-call so that there are planned excavations in the country while ensuring the safety of underground assets.
ITU is the United Nations’ specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). Headquartered in Geneva, it has a network of field offices, regional Offices and area offices.
India signed a Host Country Agreement in March 2022 with ITU for the establishment of an Area Office. The Area Office in India also envisaged having an Innovation Centre embedded in it, making it unique among other area offices of ITU.
The Area Office, which is fully funded by India, is located on the second floor of the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) building at Mehrauli New Delhi. It will serve India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Iran, enhancing coordination among nations and fostering mutually beneficial economic cooperation in the region.