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ON this 17th day of May 2005 which is celebrated world over as "World Telecommunications Day", I extend my heartiest greetings and best wishes to all our customers.

Communication is the lifeline of any economy. Through communication, people can exchange their ideas and thoughts and therefore, can reduce misunderstandings and misgivings which are frequently the potential cause for friction, confrontation and conflict. We are witnessing major changes in the way people communicate with each other. The sheer scale of Internet surfing and e-mail has virtually wiped away boundaries and timelines.

Communication thus strengthens ties between peoples and nations besides promoting trade and commerce. Its implications touch on every aspect of our lives: the way we do business, educate ourselves, receive health care, and deliver services from government agencies. In short, telecommunication is an issue that fundamentally impacts the quality of life we enjoy and the ability we have to grow and prosper, as individuals, as a State and as a Nation.

In the backdrop of this scenario, this year's ITU (International Telecommunication Union) theme of `Creating an Equitable Information Society - Time for Action' is more relevant, apt and timely. Creating an Equitable Information Society holds the key for generating new business opportunities, innovative ways and economic means to usher in prosperity but at the same time respecting the interests and cultural heritage of all the peoples and the nations. The global society we seek to build must be the one in which all people, in all countries, have access to information and knowledge. Even though the task is daunting, we must overcome the hurdles, if we are to keep the promise of `Information Society'.

On this occasion, let us resolve to take the fruits of telecommunications development to the nooks and corners of this country!

Dayanidhi Maran

Minister of Communications

& Information Technology.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 17, 2005)
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