India’s Aruna Sundararajan gets recognition for digital initiatives

India’s Aruna Sundararajan gets recognition for digital initiatives

NEW DELHI: BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) awarded former IT and telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan for her extraordinary performance during her stint, and meritorious contribution to the ambitious Digital India program, national policy creation, and the fifth generation or 5G telecom technology.

Sundararajan served as a secretary in the Steel, IT, and Communications ministries.

“Smt. Aruna Sundarajan, former secretary of the Department of Telecommunications was conferred with the lifetime achievement felicitation for her role in creating the world-class National Digital Communication Policy 2018 and formulating India’s 5G policy,” BRICS CCI said.

Sundararajan, a 1982 batch Kerala cadre Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer served in top roles across multiple departments at Union and state governments and led several digital technologies-driven citizen-centric transformative programs.

Between 2017 and 2019, she served as a secretary in the telecom department (DoT) and led the creation of the industry-friendly National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) 2018 that advocates ‘social good’ for Indians.

As a telecom secretary and chairperson of the Digital Communications Commission, erstwhile Telecom Commission, she formed a 5G High-Level Forum (HLF) to bring that later released a set of recommendations for setting up 5G technology-based network deployment in the country.

Sundararajan previously worked as the country head of the Global e-Schools Initiative of the United Nations.

As a founding IT secretary of Kerala, she conceptualised the Akshaya project, an ambitious e-literacy initiative, which was subsequently extended to the entire state.

Inaugurated by former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam on November 18, 2002, the Akshaya program led to the mass transformation through district-wide e-literacy modules that paved the way for Kerala to become India’s first e-literate state.

The BRICS CCI summit also felicitated other exceptional women leaders who have played an essential role in shaping the techade across the spectrum of areas.

Zoya Ali Rizvi, Deputy Commissioner at National Health Mission; Ministry of Health & Family Affairs; Chandrika Kaushik, Director General, Production Coordination & Services Interaction at Defence Research and Development Organisation; and Prerna Jhunjhunwala, Founder of Creative Galileo were felicitated as Trailblazers.

Those attending the event included Thabang Linus Kholumo, Charge’ d’ Affaires, the High Commission of the Kingdom of Lesotho, and representatives from the embassies of the US, China, and Gambia in India.

Swati Maliwal, Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women, and Sonal Goel, Special Resident Commissioner, Tripura Bhawan also addressed the gathering.

Recognised by the United Nations, BRICS CCI is a not-for-profit organisation and provides a platform for active trade and commerce between the BRICS and other nations. It has a BRICS Women Entrepreneurship Vertical, a dedicated wing that aims to provide investment opportunities to women entrepreneurs worldwide.

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