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Why in News?

  • Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) signed an agreement with Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) for the implementation of e-VBAB Network Project.
  • The two separate platforms,  will link various educational institutions and hospitals in India and the participating African countries.

E-VBAB Network Project:

  • E-VBAB Network Project is primarily a technological upgrade and extension of the Pan-African e-Network Project (Phase 1) which was implemented in 48 partner countries across Africa from 2009 till 2017.
  • The Phase 1 of the Project successfully imparted tele-education and tele-medicine by linking educational institutions and hospitals in India with those from the participating African countries.
  • The flagship e-VBAB project is a step towards capacity building in the field of education and medical science for all the 54 African Nations.
  • It is fully funded by MEA, GoI and is envisaged to be implemented in 9 months followed by 5 years of operations and maintenance.
  • The project aims to provide an opportunity for local employment and opens the door for access to education and medical expertise from India to African students, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff.
  • It will also give an opportunity for Global acceptance of Indian University Education system and Indian medical Health services.

Pan-African e-Network project:

  • Pan African e-Network project is an ICT project between India and the African Union that seeks to connect the 55 member states of the Union through a satellite and fibre-optic network to India and
  •  It is aimed to enable access and sharing of expertise between India and African states in the areas of tele-education, telemedicine, Voice over IP, infotainment, resource mapping, meteorological services, e-governance and e-commerce services.
  • The e-network is made up of a large undersea cable network and satellite connectivity provided through C-Band transponders of the INTELSAT-904 or RASCOM satellites.
  • The project is often described as Africa’s biggest ever in the ICT sector and is expected to extend ICT infrastructure to rural and previously underserved areas.
  • The idea for the project came from the then President A P J Abdul Kalam who proposed such a network during his address to the Pan-African Parliament in Johannesburg in 2004.
  • The project is seen as an example of India furthering its economic and strategic interests in Africa through the use of soft diplomacy and has been acclaimed as an instance of South-South cooperation, helping to overcome the digital divide in Africa.
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