Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are an important medium to bridge the gap between developed and developing nations and it enhances the opportunities for the establishment of global partnerships for sustainable developments.
The first meeting of the BRICS Communication Ministers was held in 2015 in Russia, where it was agreed that developing countries have a great potential in the ICT ecosystem and that increased participation of business, academia and other relevant stakeholders for ICT development among BRICS Countries must be encouraged.
India hosted the 2nd BRICS Communication Ministers Meeting in 2016 where BRICS ICT Development Agenda and Action Plan (ICT DAAP) were adopted with areas of cooperation such as National Digital Agenda, Business to Business Engagement, R&D and Innovation, Capacity Building and e-Government.
Thereafter, six meetings of the BRICS Communication Ministers have been held. At the 6th BRICS Communication Ministers’ Meeting held on 17th September, the broad consensus was to continue cooperation among BRICS Countries on important operations such as:
- Eminent role of ICTs in overcoming the negative impact of COVID-19 on BRICS Countries.
- Improved rural connectivity and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for agriculture in BRICS Countries.
- Increased digital connectivity and broadband access to digital technologies to foster inclusive growth and sustainable development.
- Promoting digital transformation and innovation strategies, through the implementation of scientific and technological projects.
- Human capacity development by enhancing digital technologies in education sector and digital literacy platforms
The 6th BRICS Communication Ministers’ Meeting, various initiatives taken by Indian Government for Covid-19 management were also highlighted, such as, Aarogya Setu App, Covid Quarantine Alert System (CQAS), Covid-Savdhan, Use of IoT solutions to facilitate movement of migrant workers back to their homes and development of affordable in-house video conferencing solutions to facilitate work from home and learn from home platforms.