World IT Forum to focus on ICT for Sustainable Development

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New Delhi: The fifth edition of the World Information Technology Forum (WITFOR) 2012 got off to a start at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi today. The two day event is being organised by the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), in partnership with the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DEITy), Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India.

WITFOR will focus, on use of ICT in agriculture, education, health and e-Governance, within the overall theme of ‘ICT for Sustainable Human Development’. Representatives from over 30 countries will share their knowledge, views and best practices in the use of IT for governance and delivery of key public services, brought together on a common platform that will allow them to showcase successful, working models of the use of ICT for development.

WITFOR was born out of the need for emerging economies and developed countries to collaborate and harness the potential for digital technologies for sustainable development. Since its inception in 2003, World IT Forums have been held four times. The activities of the Forum are broadly guided by the World Summit on the Information Society’s (WSIS) Plan of Action, in order to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The participation in WITFOR has risen from 600 to 1,500 in six years, bearing testimony to its robust content and the diversity of attendees. The WITFOR conferences help bring together a variety of stakeholders to discuss, debate and analyse ways in which ICT is powering the engine of growth and development in the emerging economies for policymakers and practitioners to share knowledge on ‘ICT for development’ with their international counterparts who are facing similar challenges in their countries.

With over 80 speakers from around the world, WITFOR 2012 aims to bring together a unique mix of policymakers and political leaders, social entrepreneurs, academic researchers, practitioners and executives, both from the private and public sector. Leaders from multilateral organisations like UNESCO, UNDP, the World Bank and from regional bodies like the West African Health Organisation will share their experiences in meeting the challenges of globalisation and sustainable development.

WITFOR is an important international event that places the host country on an international platform to showcase its achievements. So far, India has hosted only regional ICT / e-Governance international events and partnering in WITFOR 2012 will give Indian Policy Makers as well as Industry and opportunity not only to learn from other countries but will also open avenues for further cooperation and business development especially for innovative products such as Aakash and value added services delivered on Mobile Platforms. Also, WITFOR 2012 will give Indian States an opportunity to showcase their premier e-Governance projects and give international delegates an opportunity to visit such projects across India

The Forum will discuss the role of IT interventions in bringing about greater transparency in governance, issues of privacy and security while dealing with public databases, financial inclusion and ways of leveraging wireless technologies. It will also debate challenges related to the training of health workers, capacity building, evidence-based decision making to improve health outcomes, the role of government in primary healthcare, and the role of ICT in creating digital content, bridging the skills gap and the digital divide, as well as improving productivity, food security, knowledge transfer in the agriculture sector.

Kerala IT News

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