International Telecommunication Union (ITU):
Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Communications and Houlin Zhao, 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 on 3rd March 2022.
- 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.
- 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 Host Country Agreement provides the legal and financial framework for establishment and operations of the Area Office.
- The Area Office and the Innovation Centre is expected to be operational by mid 2022.
- World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly-20 (WTSA-20)
- The agreement was signed in a virtual ceremony during the World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly-20 (WTSA-20) being held in Geneva, Switzerland.
- WTSA is a four-yearly global conference of ITU dedicated to standardisation of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs).
- India has proposed to host the next WTSA to be held in 2024.