IIT Gandhinagar’s pre-IIGF event emphasizes on importance of multilingual internet

The pre-event of the India Internet Governance Forum included talks on features and challenges of Universal Acceptance etc.

IIT Gandhinagar (Source: Official)IIT Gandhinagar (Source: Official)

Vagisha Kaushik | December 4, 2022 | 06:25 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar hosted a pre-event of the India Internet Governance Forum (IIGF) 2022 on December 2, 2022. The pre-IIGF event included talks on aspects of internet governance, potential of multilingual internet, and features and challenges of Universal Acceptance (UA) by subject experts from industry and academia.

Ajay Data, founder and CEO of Data Ingenious Global Limited, talked about “Universal Acceptance and its Coverage” whereas Mahesh Kulkarni, founder CTO of Evaris Systems LLP, delivered a talk on “Universal Acceptance – A Fundamental Requirement for Multilingual Internet”.

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Professor Rajat Moona, director, IITGN, and a computer scientist, discussed “Empowering Local Communities through Internet and Vernacular Language” and how multilingual internet can augment country and local community’s growth journey in various ways.

Sharing an anecdote about how a Hariyanvi taxi driver could easily find map-based navigation using voice-enabled search, Moona said, “Indian languages are largely phonetic in nature and not pictorial, most of them are written the way they are spoken. So, speech input, if done phonetically gives accurate results.”

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With increased use of smartphones, people have realised the strength of spoken words and this can be multiplied to empower people in using the internet in their languages. It can open up a plethora of possibilities for people and prove to be a powerful mechanism to do things, business online in this way. Even vegetable sellers, autorickshaw drivers, small shop owners etc. can benefit from this inclusive network,” he said.

Professor Moona concluded, “The current challenges can be solved with certain kinds of standardisations, but what empowerment and confidence a person and our community can gain might be one of the most enabling factors of multilingual internet. I wish Indian language-based content will become much more popular in future for the empowerment of people.”

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