India Sci-Tech
India, Commonwealth to bridge digital divide
Mar 21, 2007 - 7:56:08 PM

New Delhi, March 21 - India's efforts to bridge the digital divide in the Commonwealth will get an impetus at an international e-partnership summit here Friday that will be attended by Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon.

'The convening of the international e-partnership summit in New Delhi is a reaffirmation of India's strong commitment to bridging the digital divide within the Commonwealth,' the external affairs ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will inaugurate the partnership summit at Vigyan Bhavan here.

McKinnon, who begins his three-day visit to India Thursday, will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and other senior ministers.

Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed will host a dinner in honour of McKinnon.

India has been proactively involved in a series of Commonwealth initiatives including the Commonwealth Connects programme launched at the last meeting of heads of government in Malta in November 2005.

The Commonwealth of Nations, better known as the Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states all of which are former colonies of the United Kingdom, except for Mozambique and the UK itself.

India will host the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in 2008 and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010.

India will also host the 53rd annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in September 2007 and will also organise the conference of Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers in 2010.

New Delhi had pledged the single largest contribution of 1 million euros to this programme, out of which 350,000 euros have already been paid.

India has also enhanced its contribution to the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation to one million pounds in 2009-10.

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