On September 17, 2020, the 6th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Communication Ministers Meeting was hosted by Maxim Parshin, Deputy Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia in a virtual format where India was represented by Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State (MoS) for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Education.
It should be noted that this meet is held annually under the rotating Chairship of member countries. India will take over the Chairship of the next BRICS Communications Ministers’ Meeting to be hosted in 2021 by India.
- During the meet, a general agreement was made to continue cooperation among BRICS Countries on important areas viz. the role of Information and Communication Technologies in the fight against COVID-19, building trust and security in the use of ICTs, children online protection, granting the access and connectivity of people living in rural areas, as well as groups of persons with disabilities and the role of the digital economy in achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
India’s efforts in Improving Communication:
-On the Communication front, there are various initiatives taken by Indian Government for Covid Management, such as, AarogyaSetu App, Covid Quarantine Alert System (CQAS), CovidSavdhan, ICT solutions to facilitate movement of migrant workers back to their homes.
– Also affordable Video Conferencing Solutions were developed to facilitate work from home and learn from home.
-Several steps taken by Government to boost the growth of telecom and ICT under “Digital India” launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to provide benefits of digital connectivity to each and every citizen.
– There is also a “Bharatnet” project to connect 250,000 Gram Panchayats involving local people through innovative PPP models.
Other Participants: Fabio Salustino Mesquita De Faria, Minister of Communications, Federative Republic of Brazil, Xiao Yaqing, Ministry of Industry and IT of People’s Republic of China and Ms. Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Communications, Telecommunications and Postal Services of Republic of South Africa.
Points to be remembered :Russia will host the 12th or 2020 BRICS summit. It was planned to be held in Saint Petersburg from July 21 to 23, 2020, but was postponed due to the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent Related News:
i.On 30th July 2020, Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) participated in the 6th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) EnvironmentMinisters’ Meeting under the presidency of Russia along with the Environment minister of Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa over a virtual platform from New Delhi.
ii.Som Prakash, MoS for Commerce and Industry represented India and addressed the 5th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Industry Ministers Meeting held through Virtual Conference. The meeting adopted a Joint Declaration to commence the implementation of the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution (PartNIR).
Presidency– Russia (India will assume the Presidency of BRICS in 2021)
Members– Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa
Theme for 2020– “BRICS Partnership for Global Stability, Shared Security and Innovative Growth”.
About Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity):
Union Minister– Ravi Shankar Prasad
Secretary– Ajay Prakash Sawhney