India signs Host Country Agreement with the ITU

India has signed the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for the establishment of an Area Office & Innovation Centre of ITU in New Delhi on 3rd March 2022.

  • The agreement was signed in a virtual ceremony during the World Telecommunications Standardisation Assembly-20 (WTSA-20) being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

  • WTSA is a four-yearly global conference of ITU dedicated to standardisation of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs).
  • India has proposed to host the next WTSA to be held in 2024.

Host Country Agreement

  • The Host Country Agreement provides the legal and financial framework for establishment and operations of the Area Office.

Service Area

  • The Area Office and Innovation Centre of ITU at New Delhi is expected to serve South Asian countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India.

Advantage: Innovation Centre

  • The Area Office shall also have an Innovation Centre, which is expected to give impetus to research and development in telecommunication technologies in South Asia.
  • The Innovation Centre will provide opportunities to academics, start-ups and SMEs to showcase their innovation at a global stage.

About ITU

  • Headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland), International Telecommunication Union is the United Nations specialised agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs.
  • ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries and over 900 private-sector entities and academic institutions.