New Delhi: In an effort to streamline international relations, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has asked the departments of Post, IT and Telecom to identify the
15 countries those are most strategically important to the nation with a view to develop a database of actionable areas.

Sibal is preparing a roadmap to restructure the International Relations Division, which comes under Ministry of Communications and IT, for compilation and utilisation of country-specific information, as well as a database for sector-specific information, to assist in diplomatic initiatives.

"The International Relations Division needs to be restructured to play a key role in this regard, so as to prepare and utilise a country-specific information database for developing suggested strategies," Minister for Communications and IT Sibal said in an internal note.

He further said in a globalised economy, a focused approach to international relations is vital for improving public services offered to society.

The department needs to have a sector-specific information database for strategically major countries and regions, which can be utilised to develop focused strategies in international relations.

According to sources, the minister is taking a keen interest in reviving the International Relations Division of the DoT to increase cooperation between different departments of the ministry on international developments.

In November, he met senior officials of the Department of Telecom, Department of Information Technology and Department of Post to ascertain the current situation with respect to cooperation on international objectives.

The note further added that Sibal has asked for the presentation of a National Information Database on the 15-most strategically important countries and identification of key action areas for strategic cooperation with these nations.

Efforts made in past with respect to key action areas and the outcome of these efforts and future strategies for areas of cooperation with these nations would also be discussed, the note added.

"... These country-specific strategies will be reviewed at the secretary level on a monthly basis and on a quarterly basis at my level," Sibal said.

As per the Department of Telecom's (DoT) website, the
Department currently has bilateral memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and agreements with 18 countries in the field of telecommunications and IT, namely Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Israel, Iran, Mexico, Germany, Belarus, France, South Africa, South Korea, Mauritius, Mongolia, Cyprus, Russia, Myanmar, Australia, Sudan and Tunisia.

Since taking charge of the ministry, Sibal has taken a slew of measures to pave the way for a new era in the telecom sector, which also includes announcements to bring in the
National Telecom Policy - 2011, New Postal Act and New
Electronics and IT Act.