Annually on May 17th, World Telecommunication Day (WTD) is observed to highlight the importance of information and communications technologies in today’s world. The day is also observed to commemorate the creation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on 17th May, 1865, which coincided with the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in Paris, France. This day, a topical theme is chosen, and events are held all around the world to commemorate it.
The topic can be asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims and Mains.
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History of World Telecommunication Day
The day was originally commemorated in the year of 2005, when the World Summit on the Information Society petitioned the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to declare 17th May as World Information Society Day (WISD). The United Nations General Assembly decided in March 2006 that WISD will be held every year on 17th May. In the year of 2006, the ITU decided to combine the two festivities into World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) at a Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey.
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The day is commemorated in order to promote awareness of the potential for the internet to overcome societal and economic divides, as well as the digital divide. The day’s commemoration serves as a means of raising global awareness of the benefits of positive communication technology. The day’s commemoration also strives to make information and communication more readily available to people living in distant and rural places around the world. The day also emphasises the importance of communications in our lives, which we can achieve through a variety of technologies. Scientists developed technologies to assist authorities in disseminating messages as well as official communication during times of crisis.
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