Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Euro India ICT Cooperation And Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

The first Digital Agenda Assembly of European Union would be held on 16-17th June 2011. The Digital Agenda is one of the seven Flagship Initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy to make European economy’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure robust, resilient and effective. The aim of European Union is to become the most dynamic competitive knowledge-based economy in the World.

The Digital Agenda Assembly would discuss many crucial and far reaching digital issues. These include open data and re-use of public sector information, e-identity and e-signatures, interoperability and standards, cyber security, financing and facilitating broadband projects, partnership-based ICT research and innovation, importance of social networks, mainstreaming e-learning in education and training, access and digital ability, smart mobility, ICT and management of creative content, IPv6 deployment in Europe, online safety of children, spectrum for wireless innovation in Europe, cloud computing strategy for Europe, digital literacy and e-inclusion, e-government driving innovation, etc

ICT has to play a key role if Europe wants to succeed in its ambitions Europe 2020 Strategy. Issues like E-Governance, E-Commerce, Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) and E-Courts, Technological issues of IPRs, etc must also be discussed in this or subsequent meetings.

These issues have a direct bearing upon Indian ICT environment as well. Euro India ICT Cooperation is presently jointly undertaking the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) that bundles all research-related EU initiatives together under a common roof playing a crucial role in reaching the goals of growth, competitiveness and employment. FP7 is supplemented by the new Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), Education and Training programmes, and Structural and Cohesion Funds for regional convergence and competitiveness.

The broad objectives of FP7 have been grouped into four categories: Cooperation, Ideas, People and Capacities. For each type of objective, there is a specific programme corresponding to the main areas of EU research policy. All specific programmes work together to promote and encourage the creation of European poles of scientific excellence.

The outcomes of the first Digital Agenda Assembly of European Union should be so applied that they may help in the growth objective of EU. India also needs to update its ICT Infrastructure as it is still lagging far behind. Rather than becoming a “Research Partner”, India must work in the direction of becoming an ICT Superpower.

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