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The EU and India can together usher a green, digital and resilient future: EU Ambassador

Virtual EU Day held with IIIT Hyderabad, 28/10/2020 - 11:38, UNIQUE ID: 201028_5
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New Delhi/ Hyderabad, October 28: The Delegation of the European Union hosted a virtual discussion with the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH) today on the theme, “Human centric digitalisation through policy dialogue and research and innovation between the European Union and India.” The online event held as part of the EU Day series organized by the EU Delegation focussed on the growing EU – India partnership in the areas of digitalisation and research and innovation.

At the 15th EU India Summit held on 15 July, leaders from both sides had reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the EU-India strategic partnership including in the area of Foreign Policy and Security, Connectivity, defence of multilateralism, climate change, the greening of economic models, and the digital future.  Reiterating that the EU and India are natural partners in the area of digitization, leaders had also agreed at the summit to harness human-centric digitalisation to develop inclusive economies and societies. It was also decided to upgrade the dialogue and cooperation on technology and particularly to intensify engagement on 5G and artificial intelligence including to promote global standards and to foster their safe and ethical deployment. ‘EU-India Strategic Partnership: A Roadmap to 2025’ issued at the Summit also envisaged stronger technical and regulatory cooperation on the development of new technologies such as high performance and quantum computing, agritech, healthtech and blockchain, besides fostering start-up ecosystems for enhanced cooperation on innovation and technology deployment.

Delivering the keynote, Mr. Ugo Astuto, EU Ambassador to India said, “The pandemic has made us realize more than ever the importance of digital technologies. We must shape the right conditions for their rollout, making sure that they serve the needs of the people and empower citizens. India and the EU, with their convergent visions and values, can join forces to shape an environment for digital technologies that ensures their secure, responsible and all-inclusive use.” He added that the EU and India as strategic partners will scale up cooperation for a green, digital and resilient future.

In his opening address, Prof. P J Narayanan, Director, IIITH welcomed the EU Delegation and gave an overview of the institution. “We are a research focused institution delving into diverse topics, including unique domains such as smart sciences, computational linguistics and natural spatial informatics among others. Our alumni are engaged in global universities in several EU countries. We are open to forging bilateral arrangements for research both at the group and individual level. IIIT-H is privileged to have the opportunity to host this event,” he said.

Mr Benoit Sauveroche, Counsellor, EU Delegation to India, speaking of ‘EU-India cooperation on enablers for a data-driven economy’ highlighted the relevance of such cooperation, underpinned by shared values and vision, and complementarity of ecosystems. India and the EU both benefit from active bilateral collaboration on enablers such as infrastructure, interoperability, security and governance models, but also join forces to shape standards and principles on the global stage.

Mr Sachin Gaur, Project Coordinator, EU-India ICT Standardisation project, gave an overview of the initiatives taken up under the project, including those in collaboration with IIIT Hyderabad. His presentation illustrated the achievements and benefits of this pragmatic element of EU-India cooperation in building our digital future.

Ms. Tania Friederichs, Counsellor, EU Delegation to India gave an overview of the ongoing efforts in the EU’s collaboration with India in the field of Research and Innovation and higher education opportunities for Indian students in the EU. She invited the students, researchers and faculty members to tap the various opportunities available under EU-funded programmes for higher education and research such as Erasmus+, the Jean Monnet programme and Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions and collaborative projects in Horizon 2020. 

Key speakers at the event were Mr. Nimmi Rangaswamy, Associate Professor, IIITH; Radha Krishna, Professor of Research, NIT Warangal; Dr Ajay Garg, Senior Director, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India; Ms. Rama Devi Lanka, Director, Emerging Technologies, Telangana Government, with Mr. Vikram Pudi, Associate Professor, Data Labs, Technology Innovation Hub, IIITH and Mr. Ramesh Loganathan, Professor of Practice, Co-innovations, IIITH as moderators.

IIIT Hyderabad & EUD engagement

The EU has also supported the creation of a Centre of Excellence (CoE) on the Internet of Things (IoT) for Smart Cities at IIIT Hyderabad, leading to the setting up of a smart campus, as well as better connections with European academic and research centres. This Center is funded by India-EU project on ICT collaboration. 

As part of the CoE, the EU India project has helped to design relevant course on IoT, while facilitating capacity building by supporting research collaborations and exchange of experts between India and the EU.  With an aim to build a deeper understanding of the standards driven approach for smart cities, and facilitate collaboration between various smart city stakeholders across India and the EU, the project has also organized outreach activities such as hackathons, workshops and conferences, on varied components of IoT including the use of standards such as oneM2M for interoperability for the benefit of public at large.

About EU India ICT Standards Collaboration Project

The overall objective of the project “India-EU Cooperation on ICT-Related Standardisation, Policy and Legislation” (2015 – 2021) is to promote closer alignment between India and Europe with regard to the production and use of ICT standards and to harmonise the exchange of statistical data, thereby facilitating trade, increasing interoperability and the ease of doing business for companies, and adding additional weight to European and Indian ICT standardisation efforts at the global level. www.indiaeu-ictstandards.in

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