The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is working with the Universal Acceptance Steering Group to create awareness about the need to achieve a multilingual internet, which will allow users to navigate entirely in their local languages.
IAMAI will hold workshops across the country as part of an awareness campaign to promote of use of Indic/Indian language on the internet and help fuel growth of digital business.
The campaign is focusing on a requirement called universal acceptance (UA), which will help treat all domains names and email addresses equally.
For instance, it is not possible as of now to send an email from an email address in Hindi script in another language without loss of information.
Once UA is in place, it will make it possible to send and receive mails in different scripts. The process is key for the expansion of the internet, as it enables interoperatability in all internet enabled applications, devices and system.
The first workshop was held in Chennai, with developers, engineering students and startups to promote UA of Tamil script.
Given that the English market in India is saturated, an earlier IAMAI study estimated that enabling Indic content in the digital space will lead to an immediate growth of nearly 23 percent in current internet users.
This translates to 205 million potential users coming onboard if Indic content is available and strengthened. The next spurt of growth would come from semi urban and rural areas, and local Indian language content will form the majority of over 600 million internet users in India.
While people are looking to get online in India, language is a barrier, said Dr E Iniya Nehru, Senior Technical Director at National Informatics Centre at the Chennai workshop.
Dr Shanmugam Rajabadher, Team Manager, Cognizant Technology Solutions, apprised the participants about the technical details of UA and conducted the workshop.
The objective of these workshops is to reach out to internet businesses, developers and the startup community to create awareness about how critical is UA and the technical solutions being developed to address it.