**World Telecommunications Day: reiterating the imminence of information & technology in today’s world**
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The World Telecommunication Day (WTD) is celebrated worldwide annually on May 17th to highlight the imminent role of Information & Communication Technology in today’s world.
Historically, the day is celebrated to commemorate the day on which the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) came into being in 1865.
**What is Telecommunication?**
Telecommunication enables communication from over a distance by means of cable, telegraph, or broadcasting. It can be termed as the transmission of signals, messages, sounds, writings, and images, or any other information over a distance.
Such exchange of information has been made possible over the years, with the successful use of various communication technologies.
**2021 Theme: Accelerating digital transformation in challenging times**
This year, the theme for the World Telecommunications day, 2021 is “Accelerating digital transformation in challenging times.”
The theme has been chosen in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to highlight the critical role of telecommunications, which is further elevated in unprecedented situations like these. It is imperative for the smooth and continued functioning of societies around the world. The theme, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, highlights the urgency of accelerating the digital transformation and advancing the goals & targets of the Connect 2030 Agenda that aims to leave no one behind.
**International Telegraph Convention, 1865**:
The World Telecommunications Day commemorates the founding of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as the first International Telegraph Convention was signed on 17 May 1865.
The convention was instituted by the Plenipotentiary Conference in Malaga-Torremolinos in the year 1973. World Telecommunications Day was celebrated for the first time on 17 May 1969.
**World Information Society Day**:
The World Summit on the Information Society in November 2005, called upon the UN General Assembly to declare 17 May as the World Information Society Day. And, in March 2006, the resolution was adopted by the General Assembly that the World Information Society Day shall be celebrated on 17 May, every year.
The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference held in November 2006 in Antalya, Turkey thus decided to celebrate both the World Telecommunication day and the Information Society Day together on the 17th of May.
Telecommunication was a very major breakthrough for the entire humanity and has played a crucial role in bringing people closer through the use of mobile phones, telephone sets, radio, and computers.
However, it also brings with itself the challenge to ensure that this service is accessible to all and the flow of information, ideas, and messages is credible, cause the exchange of fake information, misinformation, and disinformation does more harm than it does any good.