India has signed a double taxation avoidance agreement (DTAA) with Estonia and has also forged a pact to work with the European nation in the fields of information, communications and technology (ICT).
Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal signed the pact during his visit to Estonia on September 19, during which he also met Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, an official statement said.
Mr. Sibal signed the DTAA with Estonian Minister of Finance Jurgen Ligi.
During the visit, India and Estonia also reached an agreement to work together in the fields of information, communication and technology, education and e-governance, the statement added.
Further, India will establish a Chair on Cyber Security in Tallinn University and a Chair on Indian languages, literature and history in another of Estonia’s universities.
The Estonian government has also announced 20 scholarships for Indian students that enroll with Estonian universities for accredited doctoral programme leading to a PhD degree in information and communication technology, material technology, environment technology, biotechnology, power engineering or health, the statement said.
Following his visit to Estonia, Mr. Sibal travelled to Helsinki, Finland, to participate in a summit on information and network security for emerging markets.
Speaking at the summit, Mr. Sibal said the challenges before ’emerging markets’ are far more complex, as these economies strive to provide basic amenities to their citizens, despite severe handicaps in physical infrastructure. The situation is more acute in the fields of education, health and finance, he added.
As a result, these developing economies need to “leapfrog” by absorbing new technologies to deliver services to citizens without waiting for physical infrastructure to come up to the desired levels, he said.
He said while dealing with these challenges, an adequate balance needs to be maintained between the needs for “privacy of individuals” and the “genuine security concerns of state.”
Mr. Sibal said the global community needs to collaborate and evolve global protocols for security of information and networks and assured that India stands committed to contributing and cooperating with the international community on this issue.
He also asserted that individual companies need to be far more open while sharing their designs/architecture with government agencies, who themselves need to address the genuine security concerns of their nations.