BRICS nations have significant opportunity to bridge inequities through a coordinated effort as they are not yet in the top 20 countries in the global innovation index, Union Minister of State for Telecom Manoj Sinha said here today.
“The BRICS countries are not yet in the top 20 countries in Global innovation index. We are not in the top 40 club of ICT development index and top 25 of competition index either. And herein lies a significant opportunity to bridge inequities through our coordinated effort,” he said.
Sinha was speaking at the inauguration of second meeting of BRICS communication ministers here. He said BRICS countries were fortunate to have a favourable demographic dividend, a large pool of cost effective professional services and a large domestic demand and believed that the situation is “ripe and fertile” for effective collaboration among BRICS.
The MoS said the collective force of the BRICS members is a matter of pride and 2.8 billion people accounting over 43 per cent of world population is their strength.
“The cumulative 2.8 billion mobile connections represent 40 per cent of world subscriptions and cater to 35 per cent (266 million) of the world broadband connections,” he said.
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BRICS members collectively account for more than 25 per cent of the world GDP, Sinha said. He said information and communication technologies had helped drive economic prosperity by enabling people to enhance their knowledge and skills, identify, apply and qualify for better paying jobs, manage their business efficiently and tap into broader markets for their goods and services.
The collective force of BRICS members could actively lead and cooperate to strategise synergies in the areas of ICT, he added. Sinha also called upon members to identify challenges and best practises in policy, regulatory and security domains to meet the ever changing needs of the ICT environment.
He stressed on the need to galvanise its strengths in building synergies for high tech products and developing standards to service rural areas and applications. Sinha advocated setting up a BRICS institute of future networks to work on telecom technologies with equal participation. He said India has taken the initiative to bridge the digital divide through Digital India programme.