Charting Towards a Multilingual and Inclusive Internet

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Keystone Event in India to Kick Off Inaugural UA Day

NEW DELHI, March 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- The inaugural Universal Acceptance (UA) Day will kick off with a keystone event in New Delhi, India on 27–28 March 2023. Guided by the shared goal of enabling a multilingual Internet for people to use in their own languages and scripts, the event will be hosted by India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) through the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), in collaboration with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Universal Acceptance Steering Group (UASG).

UA is essential for a truly multilingual Internet and a key driver to bringing the next billion users online. UA helps to ensure that all valid domain names and email addresses, regardless of length, language, or script, work in all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems.

This UA Day event recognizes the Indian government's strong commitment to advancing UA, together with ICANN and the UASG. The high-profile program will feature remarks about the importance of UA from representatives of the Government of India and local business leaders, ICANN's Board Chair Tripti Sinha, ICANN Interim President and CEO Sally Costerton, and a special address by the Internet pioneer Vint Cerf. The two-day event, which will be held at New Delhi's Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) auditorium and Manekshaw Center, includes panel discussions, case studies, and networking opportunities with a focus on UA. It will be open to in-person and virtual attendees.

"In a region where the majority of our population does not use English, breaking down languages barriers and making the benefits of the Internet accessible to people in their own languages and scripts is a top priority for ICANN," said Jia-Rong Low, ICANN Vice President for Stakeholder Engagement and Managing Director – Asia Pacific. "We are grateful to the Government of India and the UASG for partnering with us to launch the first UA Day."

"We are proud to host the inaugural UA Day event in New Delhi," said Anil Kumar Jain, NIXI CEO. "The vast majority of Indians do not communicate in English but in local languages online. Bringing them online is not only a matter of equity, it is also a tremendous business opportunity."

"Creating a truly multilingual Internet takes all of us and will benefit all users," said UASG Chair Ajay Data. "By launching the first UA Day we call on everyone to join our effort to make the Internet accessible for people in their own languages and scripts." 

For more information about UA Day and additional UA Day events, visit the UA Day webpage and read this press release. To register for the event in India, visit the dedicated event website at https://globaluaday.in.

What is UA?
UA is a technical requirement that ensures all valid domain names and email addresses can be used by all Internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. While the DNS has changed in recent years, the checks used by many software applications to validate domain names and email addresses remain outdated. Many systems do not recognize or appropriately process new domain names. These domain names include new generic top-level domains (e.g., .photography), Internationalized Domain Names (e.g., एमईआईटीवाई.सरकार.भारत/, 红螺寺.网址, صحة.مصر, стопкоронавирус.рф), and country code top-level domains (e.g., .ไทย). In addition, not all online portals are primed for the opening of a user account with a related email address, which is why awareness of and support for UA is critical for a truly global, multilingual Internet.

About ICANNX
ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

About NIXI
NIXI is a not for profit organization under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013, and was registered on 19th June, 2003. NIXI was set up for peering of ISPs among themselves for the purpose of routing the domestic traffic within the country, instead of taking it all the way to US/Abroad, thereby resulting in better quality of service (reduced latency) and reduced bandwidth charges for ISPs by saving on International Bandwidth. NIXI is managed and operated on a Neutral basis, in line with the best practices for such initiatives globally.

.IN is India's Country Code Top Level domain (ccTLD). The Govt. of India delegated the operations of INRegistry to NIXI in 2004. The INRegistry operates and manages India's .IN ccTLD.

About the UASG
The UASG is a community-led initiative that was formed in 2015 and funded by ICANN. It consists of representatives from more than 120 companies, governments, and community groups. The UASG works to raise awareness of the importance of UA globally, provide free resources to organizations to help them become UA-ready and measure the progress of UA adoption. To learn more, visit https://uasg.tech/.

 28 March 2023
Universal Acceptance Day: 28 March 2023
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