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ICANN seeks to improve internet for ‘Non-English’ speaking

10/13/2018

New Delhi, The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is keen to make internet feasible and accessible across India by improving the internet’s local language content. In a panel discussion here on Wednesday, it announced that it is looking forward to add the ‘Non-English’ speaking section to this huge spectrum. ICANN is a global multistakeholder organisation responsible for coordinating the internet’s domain name system, which includes policy development in relating to the names and numbers i e the nuts and bolts of the internet’s addressing system. Its mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems. “Ninety per cent of Indians access internet via smart phones and with the advent of 5G the quality of internet will improve by about 20 times,” said Rajat Kathuria, one of the top officers of ICANN. However, he admitted, “The attention on local dialects, languages and content has been less. ‘India’s Multilingual Internet and the Road to ICANN63’ seeks to bridge the difference between the rural-urban internet usages.” ICANN63 is the Annual General Meeting of ICANN for 2018. It is scheduled to take place from October 20-25, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. This year’s meeting will focus on policy development and also showcase the work that ICANN does to a broader global audience. Emphasising the efforts towards working on a better speed and content for a progressive rural India, ICANN strives to connect the ‘India’s unconnected’ to the world by making the broadband services available for platforms as basic as Khap Panchayats. Country Head of Corporate Affairs, Data Xgen Technologies, Amit Modi revealed that the statistics of internet usage in urban India is also not as good as it seems. He said, “Survey shows 70 per cent of the internet users consume Indic content, however, 68 per cent of the usage is for entertainment, audio/video consumption only. Critical services like online banking, online search, job search etc. have usage as low as 20 per cent even in Urban India.” In a different session, Jay Paudyal, Consultant, ICANN NBG Panel, discussed the benefits of switching to a new Internationalised Domain Name (IDN) such as ‘dot Bharat in IDN’- a Digital India Initiative by Accredited Domain Name Registrar to get a fully IDN in one’s native language. Currently it is available in seven Indian languages only, mainly in Devanagri, but will soon be made available in other languages as well.

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