Fri, 03 Dec 2021

New Delhi [India], October 22 (ANI): In his address at the seventh Meeting of BRICS Communications Ministers on Friday, Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan said that India is committed to bridging the digital divide in the country.

Chairing the meet, Chauhan stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to bridging the digital divide in India. To achieve the same, the Government of India has recently launched historical telecom reforms which will unleash the true potential of the telecom industry besides providing much-needed support to the telecom service providers, read a Ministry of Communications release.

He also stated that PM Modi has launched a flagship scheme of extending optical fibers to all six lakh villages of India which will bridge the digital divide between urban and rural areas.

India currently chairs BRICS and Fabio Salustino Mesquita De Faria, Minister of Communications of Brazil, Bella Cherkesova, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia, Xiao Yaqing, Minister of Industry and Information Technologies of China, and Khumbudzo Phophi Silence Ntshavheni, Minister of CommunicationsDigital Technologies of South Africa led their respective delegations at the Communications Ministers meet.

The Ministers recognised the significant role of ICTs in increasing the effectiveness of BRICS countries' response to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and assisting in the recovery of economies, business continuity and minimizing the social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, read the release.

The Ministers discussed the need to work together to develop multi-pronged approaches and reference models for affordable access to communications services and digital technologies for benefitting people, achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Ministers expressed concerns on the risks and ethical dilemmas related to Artificial Intelligence and encouraged members to work together to deal with such concerns and risks of Artificial Intelligence and its ethical and responsible uses, added the release.

The Ministers adopted the Terms of References of Digital BRICS Task Force and supported the advancement in work of the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR) across several Working Groups meeting in 2021.

The Ministers also appreciated the discussion on the "360-degree approach on New Industrial Revolution" in a seminar during Working Group on ICTs Cooperation and recognized the need of BRICS members to work together for a comprehensive understanding of the New Industrial Revolution, its advantagesdisadvantages and its impacts on the industrial workers, job market among others, read the release.

The Ministers encouraged continuous cooperation in ICTs activities in international organizations and multilateral forums such as the International Telecommunications Union and other organizations.

The Ministers also adopted the proposal to host the Digital BRICS Forum annually to facilitate sharing of information and knowledge, practices, initiatives etc. on agreed cooperation areas, added the release. (ANI)

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