TODAY -

Big data for big impact

Ranjan K Baruah *



One of the biggest contributions of science and technology is internet. It has become part and partial of most of the people around the world. Uses of internet are more in developed and advanced countries as well as other countries. Though some people are yet to use internet but most of them have heard of it.

After the social media boom literate or semi least literate, all are aware of the word called internet. Readers might be wondering why I am telling about this simple things. Well, we must be aware that internet or ICTs (Information Communication Technologies) is a democratic tool which is contributing in social change around the world.

Like many other day the purpose of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is to help raise awareness of the possibilities that the use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies can bring to societies and economies, as well as of ways to bridge the digital divide.

ICTs have crucial role for achieving Sustainable Development Goals. SDGs can’t be achieved without the best use of ICTs and more importantly internet and other telecommunications mediums. 17 May marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union.

World Telecommunication Day has been celebrated annually on 17 May since 1969, marking the founding of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865. It was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in 1973.

In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Society called upon the UN General Assembly to declare 17 May as World Information Society Day to focus on the importance of ICT and the wide range of issues related to the Information Society raised by WSIS. The General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/60/252) in March 2006 stipulating that World Information Society Day shall be celebrated every year on 17 May.

In November 2006, the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, decided to celebrate both events on 17 May as World Telecommunication and Information Society Day.

The updated Resolution 68 invites Member States and Sector Members to celebrate the day annually by organizing appropriate national programmes with a view to stimulating reflection and exchanges of ideas on the theme adopted by the Council, debating the various aspects of the theme with all partners in society, formulating a report reflecting national discussions on the issues underlying the theme, to be fed back to ITU and the rest of its membership

The theme for WTISD-17, "Big Data for Big Impact," focuses on the power of Big Data for development and aims to explore how to turn imperfect, complex, often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context.

The insight brought on by advanced analysis can strongly complement the evidence-based nature of decision-making that can be leveraged at national, regional and international levels to drive success towards attaining all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

On his message on the occasion of WTISD Houlin Zhao , Secretary General of ITU has said that "it will also be an occasion to take a closer look at the importance of governance and regulation, and the implications for personal privacy and security given the future exponential growth in data and connectivity’.

He also mentioned in his message that "countless opportunities will also be identified as we learn to better perfect and harness big data, and understand the impact big data can have as a global good. Activities undertaken by the ITU membership will contribute towards building momentum to embrace big data on a global scale and to seize new opportunities to address development challenges."

There are many activities undertaken by different organisation. It is important for us to to use ICTS for social change. Having resource or data is always important and hence it can be used for positive impact. We should try to utilize information and data for building sustainable future for us and for the generations to come.


* Ranjan K Baruah wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on May 19, 2017.


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