PM Modi and Secretary General of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in New Delhi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in New Delhi on Friday and discussed ways of leveraging digital technology for a better and sustainable case.

The two leaders held extensive discussions on connectivity as well as leadership roles.

Taking to Twitter, PM Modi wrote, "Glad to have met @ITUSecGen Doreen Bogdan-Martin. We had extensive discussions on leveraging digital technology for a better and sustainable planet."

Responding to Modi's tweet, the Secretary General of ITU commended Modi for his leadership, keeping connectivity and innovation high on the agenda.

"I commend PM @narendramodi & India for their leadership, keeping connectivity + innovation high on the agenda, and for recognizing @ITU as #G20 knowledge partner.

This 2023 SDG midpoint provides a much-needed opportunity for G20 countries to harness digital to rescue #GlobalGoals," the Secretary-General tweeted.

Notably, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) area office and innovation centre in India on Wednesday, besides unveiling the 'Bharat 6G Vision Document' and launching a 6G R&D Test Bed.

"Within 6 months of 5G, we are already talking about 6G technology. This shows the confidence of India," PM Modi said.

PM Modi said India will set up 100 5G labs in the coming years.

"For India, telecom technology is not just a mode of power but a mission to empower...India rolled out 5G connections in more than 125 cities within 120 days. India will set up 100 5G labs in the coming years," PM Modi said at the event.

ITU is the United Nations' specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs). Headquartered in Geneva, it has a network of field offices, regional Offices and area offices.

India signed a host country agreement in March 2022 with ITU for the establishment of an area office. India ITU area office will serve India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Iran.

"India is a role model for countries that are looking to digital transformation. India is home to one of the biggest startup ecosystems, digital payments market and tech workforce in the world. Under the vision and leadership of PM Modi, Digital India has put the country on the forefront of tech innovation & adaption with game-changing initiatives like Aadhar, UPI and others," Doreen Bogdan, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union.

"Innovation in India is happening fast and at a low cost and at a scale never seen before because at the centre is the core principle of inclusive growth which is captured in the mantra of 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas'," Bogdan said.

In India, telecom service providers started providing high-speed 5G services in the country in October 2022 onwards.

The government issued spectrum allocation letters to telecom service providers in August 2022, asking them to prepare for the rollout of 5G services in the country.