India and Japan have agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in information, communication and technology (ICT) sector. A memorandum of cooperation (MoC) in this regard was signed virtually by India's IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Takeda Ryota, Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, today.
The 'Memorandum of Cooperation in the Field of Information and Communication Technologies' is the first to be signed at the ministerial level and sets a framework or collaborations in the field of ICT, including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI) and submarine cable networks, a Japanese embassy official informed.
"In Japan, various efforts are made to utilise 5G in such fields as agriculture, transportation and disaster risk reduction. Japan is willing to share our experience and expertise and work together towards the successful introduction of 5G in India," stated Japanese minister Takeda on the occasion.
The agreement also covers such areas as telecom security, including relevant human resource development, the promotion of dialogue between Japanese and Indian industries, including start-ups, and other ICT-related issues.
Japan-India ICT Comprehensive Cooperation Framework of 2014 already has ICT as one of priority segments of collaboration. It was NEC, a Japanese company, which laid the submarine optical fiber cables between Chennai and Andaman & Nicobar, a project inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2020. Similarly, in the field of AI, another Japanese company, Olympus is working with the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology in Hyderabad to introduce AI assisted diagnosis of colonoscopy.
"Under the COVID pandemic, it is increasingly recognised that the digital transformation is becoming even more important. In order to accelerate the digital transformation across the society, we would like to further engage in cooperative projects in the ICT with India," Takeda said.
India and Japan will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year. The MoC is among the measures taken by the two countries to enhance bilateral cooperation towards the commemorative year.