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Remarks by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj for the TRAI-BICMA...
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Remarks by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj for the TRAI - BICMA Capacity Building meeting - 16 June 2021. 


    • Dr. P.D. Vaghela, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

    • Dasho Phuntsho Tobgay, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications, Royal Government of Bhutan

    • Members of Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority

    • Members of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India

    • Officials from the Ministry of Information and Communications, Royal Government of Bhutan.

    • Colleagues,
      zamaste & Kuzuzampo!

    • I am pleased to welcome you to today’s meeting to discuss the Capacity Building and Training Initiatives between the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. In a Global and Connected World, the new drivers of Economic Growth are Telecom, Internet, Information and Communications Technology and Data. A critical need is to ensure the availability, affordability and accessibility of Digital Technologies for all, to develop a reliable and inclusive digital infrastructure - which is being enabled in Bhutan and India by BICMA and TRAI respectively.
    • Given the special relationship enjoyed by our two countries, the Government of India is privileged to partner with the Royal Government of Bhutan in sharing our experience and expertise in Telecom Regulation. To this effect, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in 2014 between TRAI and BICMA establishing a mechanism of technical and institutional cooperation in the field of telecommunications. In this vein, training programs have been organised between the two entities in the past.

    • Bhutan’s 21st Century Economic Roadmap identifies Data and Technology as a key enabler for economic activities to flourish in Bhutan. India is privileged to collaborate with Bhutan in this pursuit. The Government of India has provided support to 7 key components of Bhutan’s Flagship Program ‘Digital Drukyul’ - which aims to harness the power of ICT to transform Bhutan into a smart and inclusive society. The NKN - Drukren Connect initiative, launched during PM Modi’s State Visit to Bhutan in 2019, has created an information highway between the universities, research institutions, libraries, health-care and agricultural institutions of the two nations. More than 100 institutes are being connected to benefit more than 6000 students in Bhutan. The E-Library Project, launched during PM Modi’s State Visit to Bhutan in 2014, with more than 3000 books in e-format including text books in Dzongkha, has seen more than 1.4 million visits since July 2016.  The Rupay Card Phases 1 and 2 were jointly launched by our two Prime Ministers in 2019 and 2020 to benefit Bhutanese and Indian citizens who travel and transit through India and Bhutan. In 2021, BHIM, a mobile application will be launched in Bhutan to facilitate cashless transactions, boosting trade and tourism.
    • The Royal Government of Bhutan has done a stellar job in providing data and telephony connections to the remotest parts of Bhutan. Bhutan has initiated the Rural Connectivity Plan to provide nationwide ICT services to both households and public places at affordable prices. Bhutan has also connected all 20 dzongkhags with a nationwide fibre optic network. As Bhutan looks forward to upgrade its telecom network to 5G and upgrade its regulatory mechanisms, I am hopeful that this experience and information sharing between TRAI and BICMA will lead to positive outcomes.
    • May I conclude by thanking Dr. P. D Vaghela, Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for organising this session on capacity building initiatives at such short notice. Without his invaluable support, this would not have been possible. As well, my greetings to Dasho Phuntsho Tobgay who set this ball rolling in a recent meeting with Second Secretary Utkarsh from the Embassy.
    • It is also my privilege to wish all participants productive outcomes in the weeks ahead.

Tashi Delek!

Thank you!

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