From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : EDISON alliance
Mains level : Global action against digital divide
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has announced the launch of an Essential Digital Infrastructure and Services Network (EDISON) Alliance.
The peculiarity of name ‘EDISON Alliance’ creates a hotspot here for prelims. UPSC may either crate confusion over purpose or parent organization. The alliance is yet to take shape completely; hence there is an ambiguity over its members.
- Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF), which describes itself as an international organization for public-private partnership, will serve as the secretariat and platform for the EDISON Alliance.
- A wider group of ‘Champions Leaders’ will advise and support the Alliance, the WEF said while announcing the launch.
- Alliance aims to work towards ensuring global and equitable access to the digital economy.
- Its prime goal is to ensure an unprecedented level of cross-sectoral collaboration between the technology industry and other critical sectors of the economy, according to the WEF.
Why need such an alliance?
- Access to digital technologies has enabled many to work, learn and live during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- However, the pandemic has exposed and exacerbated existing gaps and inequalities in almost half of the global population.
- Some 3.6 billion people, remain offline and broadband services are too expensive for 50 percent of the population in developed countries, the WEF said.
- This hampers access to health, education, and economic inclusion.