The BRICS’ Communication Ministers on Friday prepared an action plan to institutionalise cooperation in Information and Communication Technologies arena through identifiable goals and objectives for developing knowledge societies in the group.
“The action plan envisages digital partnership to institutionalise cooperation in ICT through identifiable goals and objectives for developing knowledge societies in the group,” said a communique issued at the end of the second meeting of the BRICS Communications Ministers in India’s Silicon Valley in Bengaluru. Briefing the media, Minister of State for Telecom Manoj Sinha said the question is not of creating jobs or getting investments, but is all about cooperation between BRICS nations.
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“When jobs come, then facilities will also come”. The meeting emphasised the need to enhance ICT research and development expenditure to develop multiple paths for innovation and new technologies for value addition in exports and generate employment for youth, Sinha said. The meeting decided to develop content in local languages and enhance digital skill sets for participation in the digital economy.
The Ministers also said the new technologies and applications through IoTs (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) provide opportunity for collaboration to drive programmes under various sectors in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and objectives of WSIS World Summit of the Information Society. The ministers recognised the criticality to develop trust and security in the use of ICTs, services and applications to enable their widespread use while protecting privacy and consumer rights, the communique said.
The meeting also recognised the role of ICT in improving the quality of life and governance for its citizens.
“We encourage joint efforts toward promoting e-government systems among members and stress the catalytic role of digital economy in all sectors, including health, education, transport, commerce, entertainment and power,” Sinha said. The meeting resolved to embrace a common platform in joint research, design, development, manufacturing and promotion in the field of high technology products in Information Communications Technologies, ICTs, Sinha said.
Communication Ministers Andre Muller Borges of Brazil, Nikolay Nikiforov of Russia, Liu Lihua of China and Siyabonga Cyprian Cwele of South Africa participated in the meeting. The first meeting of the BRICS ICT was held at Ufa in Russia on July 8-9, 2015 and the third meeting will be held in China in 2017.