This year, 17 May, World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, is being commemorated in the grim shadow of the global pandemic – COVID-19. Telecommunication and Information Technologies (ICTs) have emerged as the “core infrastructure” for running emergency and essential services, health operations and economic activities in this scenario.
This year’s theme, “Connect 2030: ICTs for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, is a recognition of the central role of ICTs for progressing social, economic and environmentally sustainable growth and development of society. However, events in recent months have established ICTs (telemedicine, robots and AI etc.) as one of the dominant tools for handling the COVID crisis.
This unprecedented situation has put the spotlight on the digital technology community, compressing timelines for innovations, and affording very little time for the future technologies to “evolve” organically. This calls for a collective effort at the global level to develop solutions that are interoperable, rapidly scalable, and cyber resilient. The sheer pace of innovations required for this demands a standards-driven approach in the efforts.
TSDSI members have been working in several areas that are relevant to the current scenario, covering 5G and beyond, mission critical communications, Cloud Interoperability, Rural Broadband, Broadcast offload, Backhaul, Drones etc. We are rallying participation of India’s technology community, especially startups, in development of standards based COVID Response readiness solutions in these technologies. We are also focussing on imbibing a standards-based research discipline within our communities so as to ensure that the time to market technologies is shortened and rapid innovations become a way of life. This is the key criterion to become a digitally empowered society and achieve the SDGs.