The International Cooperation Division (ICD) of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has been set up to promote international cooperation in the emerging and frontier areas of Electronics and Information Technology under bilateral, multilateral or regional framework. It is a recognized fact that Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can help to enhance the sustainable socio-economic transformation of societies. For benefits of ICT to reach the under privileged societies globally, there is also a need to bridge the digital divide. India with its extensive experience in addressing the digital divide is also facilitating a number of emerging economies by extending technical assistance in the area of IT infrastructure, networking, capacity building, HRD and e-government. Additionally, to promote international cooperation in the emerging and frontier areas of electronics and information technology, explore ways to enhance investment and address regulatory mechanism, various collaborative efforts have been geared up to encourage sustainable development and strengthening synergetic partnerships with other countries.
Government act as facilitator, promoter and motivator with the objectives of:
- Creating conducive environment for international cooperation to help industries to cooperate with the industries of other countries;
- Fostering, encouraging and promoting research and development in the application of electronics and information technology related facilities;
- Coordinating technical and policy issues with international bodies/institutions like UN, WSIS, World Bank, WTO, G20, RCEP, ASEAN, UN-ESCAP, SAARC etc. to safeguard India’s interest;
- Initiating joint projects like IT institutes, software parks, programmes for joint R&D and facilitating Electronics/IT Advisers etc.;
- Showcasing India’s ICT strength to the globe by organizing, sponsoring and participating in trade fairs, symposiums and exhibitions.
International Cooperation Strategy:
- Engages with various developed and developing countries, Multilateral organisations for knowledge sharing , market access & diversification;
- Engages with Potential Partners for furthering IT-ITES Exports;
- Engages with developed countries for knowledge sharing (emerging technologies);
- Engages with developing countries to assist them in ICTD for furthering relations;
- Initiate and implement a number of overseas projects;
- Executes Projects to showcase our strength and as premier IT-ITES Hub globally;
- Furthering International Cooperation on Research & Innovation and address various challenges;
- Capacity Building, HRD and sharing of expertise in areas like e-Governance, Language Technologies, Internet Governance etc.
The Ministry has active Government-to-Government cooperation with many countries. Bilateral arrangements with a number of countries have been concluded. These arrangements constitute a number of MOUs, agreements and Joint Working Groups to identify common interests, priorities, policy dialogue and the necessary tools for ICT collaboration.
The scope of cooperation as envisaged in MOUs includes mainly promoting development of IT software including Telecom Software, IT enabled services, E-commerce services & Information Security, Electronic Governance, IT and Electronics Hardware, HRD for IT education and IT enabled education, Research and Development, exploring third country markets etc.
- Memorandums of Understanding (MoU) describes a bilateral or multilateral agreement between two or more countries/regional groups to accelerate the cooperation further. It expresses a convergence between the countries, indicating an intended common line of action. A number of MoUs have already been concluded in the field of ICT and Cyber Security. MeitY has 31 active MoUs/agreements/Joint Declarations of Intent in ICT/ Cyber Security/CCA/NICSI. All active MoUs/agreemts/Joint Declarations of Intent in ICT are monitored and implemented through regular Joint Working Groups (JWGs)/IGCs.
- Joint Working Group (JWG) meetings have witnessed enhanced government-to-government and industry-to-industry participation from respective sides. These Working Groups broadly deliberate in areas like ICT policies and strategies, cyber security, techno parks, global workforce mobility, research collaboration in Free Open Source Software, Cloud Computing, RFID Embedded System, New Generation Networks, Smart Cards, e-Governance, etc and Telecom and Media related issues for continual exchange of information and collaborative approach.
- Research and Development (R&D) Promotion are activities which adopt regular system of quality control to maintain quality of products to render technical and troubleshooting services, controlling various adjusting equipments and reducing the cost of production and improving the quality of products.
- Industrial promotion is defined as an agreement between two countries (or regions) for the reciprocal encouragement, promotion and protection of investments in each other's territories by the companies based in either country (or regions). The purpose of these agreements is to create such conditions which are favorable for fostering greater investments by the investors of one country in the territory of the other country. Such agreements are beneficial for both the countries because they stimulate their business initiatives and thus enhance their prosperity.
- International Projects are being initiated and implemented in order to develop new products for emerging markets in electronics and IT sector. ICD also aims to elaborate an international training concept by creating Centre of Excellence in various developing countries.
- The Ministry is spearheading the negotiations on e-commerce chapter under various forums/Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) such as Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), WTO, BRICS etc. A White Paper on e-commerce negotiations was also evolved with inter-ministerial consultation.
Achievements of ICD:
- Enhanced India’s IT brand image and national competitveness through international cooperation;
- Undertook feasibility study to identify country specific needs in information technology sector and identified various areas of cooperation with India;
- Negotiated India’s interest and provided inputs on ICT for the major Multilateral forums
- Processed and concluded 82 MOUs/Agreements/Joint Declaration of Intent in ICT sector with other countries till date;
- Maintaining 31 numbers of active MOUs/Agreements/Joint Declaration of Intent with various countries through implementing mechanisms such as Joint Working Groups, Joint Commissions, Inter- Governmental Committees etc.;
- Enhanced Government-to-Government and Industry-to-Industry interactions on ICT policies and strategies, research collaboration and issues for continual exchange of information and collaborative approach;
- Offered technical support to execute joint projects funded by MEA like IT Centres, Software Parks, programmes for Joint Research & Innovation and facilitating IT Advisory etc. under bilateral cooperation;
- Prepared and evaluated various technical reports, strategic documents etc. ;
- R&D Innovation Collaboration with USA, EU, Korea, Israel, Netherlands, WIPO & EPO.