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New Delhi, Nov.14

THE Minister for Communications and IT, Mr Dayanidhi Maran, is leading a high-level delegation to the second phase of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis from November 16 to 18.

The summit will discuss issues including Internet governance, financing mechanism for ICT for development, and a road map for information society and ICT for development.

India is expected to extend its support to the open architecture of Internet governance and emphasise that it must be stable and reflect the aspiration of different stakeholders including governments, an official release said here.

The WSIS is being held in two phases - the first phase took place in Geneva from December 10-12, 2003, where 175 countries adopted a Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action. In the Tunis phase, efforts are being made to put the Plan of Action into motion, and working groups have been set up to find solutions and reach agreements in the fields of Internet governance and financing mechanisms.

The Tunis phase of the WSIS is a culmination of a process that began in Geneva.

"Regarding ICT for development, during discussions, it would be stressed that only ICT would not deliver the goods. It must be affordable and more relevant to the needs of the five billion people at the bottom of the pyramid and only then will ICT transform their lives," the release said.

During the conference, the Indian delegation will also highlight that the country has lot to share with developing countries in ICT programmes such as tele-medicine, tele-education, e-governance, digital library, multilingualism and similar applications. On the future road map for information society and ICT for development, India will state that establishment of a suitable mechanism of financing ICT for development as well as collaborative exchanges needs to be considered by the summit.

The Chairman Telecom Commission, Dr J.S. Sarma, will accompany the Minister along with other senior officials of the departments of telecommunications and information technology. Mr Kiran Karnik, President, Nasscom, will also be part of the delegation.

In the summit, several parallel events such as WSIS Exhibition and ICT 4 All will be organised. The Government is setting up an `India Pavilion' with a focus on ICT for development and solidarity.

Companies such as C-DAC and TCIL from the Government sector and Infosys, TCS, HCL, Midas, Tejas, ITC and NIIT from the private sector will also be present in the pavilion. Some of these companies will showcase their projects in real-time including tele-medicine, e-governance applications, and fibre to home technology, the release said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 15, 2005)
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