(MENAFN - Arab News) A top Indian IT official lauded the outstanding progress achieved by Saudi Arabia in the communications and IT sector.
Addressing the visiting Saudi youth delegation at the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in New Delhi, Sudhir Gupta, principal adviser (mobile services) in Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), specially noted the Kingdom's mobile phone and Internet penetration rates that reached 188 percent and 47 percent respectively in 2011.
He also briefed the delegation on the activities of TRAI as well as its achievements, procedures of licensing, strategic plans, in addition to the challenges facing the telecom sector.
Gupta, who worked earlier as an expert at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), impressed the delegation by sharing his views and expertise with regard to the secrets of success in the communications and IT field.
He also noted that some 14 licensed telecom operators offer services to about 911 million consumers in the country. The delegation viewed a visual presentation of the activities of TRAI. Gupta also replied various questions and doubts raised by the delegates.
During the last leg of the 10-day tour, the Saudi delegation also met with a senior official of the National Informatics Center, a premier science & technology institution of the government of India, which is providing e-government services. The official briefed the delegation on the major highlights of the center's activities, including a wide variety of e-government solutions.
Earlier, the delegation met with India's Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot. "IT is one area where we have been doing tremendously well. It is great to see the keen interest the youth population is showing in innovation and IT industry," Pilot told the young Saudis during the 40-minute interaction.
"More than the (India-Saudi Arabia) political or economic relationship between the two countries, it is the ties between people that will strengthen the relationship," he said.
The 40-member delegation, led by Yousuf Al-Saadoun, undersecretary at the Foreign Ministry for economic and cultural affairs, comprised of students, mediapersons and youth from different walks of life.
As part of the tour, organized by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the delegation arrived in New Delhi late Wednesday after visiting technology hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad. In New Delhi, they visited the Indian Institute of Technology, the Nasscom office and several places of cultural interest.
The delegation's visit to Narayan Hrudalaya telemedicine project in Bangalore has been the most engaging so far, a member said. "E-health in Bengalore was very strong. It is a lesson we would like to take back home," a delegate had told an Indian news agency. The delegation also visited the Indian Space Research Organization in Bangalore and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, among others, in Hyderabad.
The team, which began its tour on March 22, visited the three cities as part of promoting interactions in the field of science and technology and gaining a firsthand account of the progress made by Indian institutions and universities.