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BhashaNet Advancing Digital Inclusivity in India

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The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) have jointly unveiled the BhashaNet portal during the Universal Acceptance Day event held in Delhi, with active support from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This initiative marks a significant stride towards advancing digital inclusivity and promoting Universal Acceptance throughout India.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

NIXI and MeitY collaborated to organise Universal Acceptance Day, with the primary objective of rallying stakeholders and amplifying awareness regarding the critical need for Universal Acceptance (UA) readiness in the contemporary digital environment.

Themed “BhashaNet: Impetus Towards Universal Acceptance”, the event underscored MeitY/NIXI’s commitment to ensuring that individuals can seamlessly participate in the digital realm irrespective of linguistic or textual barriers.

Image adapted from BhashaNet website

BhashaNet is an initiative aimed at fostering a multilingual internet ecosystem, eliminating language barriers to enable seamless creation, communication, transactions, processing, and retrieval of information in the digital realm.

This initiative endeavours to provide citizens with a platform where they can navigate the digital landscape effortlessly, regardless of the language they speak or understand.

The event brought together government officials and industry leaders to celebrate this milestone, reaffirming India’s commitment to creating a more inclusive digital space that caters to the diverse linguistic and cultural landscape of the nation.

The event featured a diverse array of engaging sessions, encompassing keynote addresses, panel discussions, and technical workshops, all spearheaded by eminent speakers hailing from diverse sectors. These discussions centred around elucidating the significance of UA and delineating the requisite steps essential for achieving ubiquitous acceptance across digital platforms.

These sessions aimed to equip participants and the wider community with insights and best practices for achieving Universal Acceptance readiness, thereby fostering an environment where applications and systems are compliant with Universal Acceptance standards.

India’s successful hosting of the regional Universal Acceptance Day event sets the stage for the upcoming Global Universal Acceptance Day scheduled to convene on March 28, 2024, in Belgrade, Serbia.

In his keynote address, S. Krishnan, Secretary of MeitY, emphasised the indispensable nature of Universal Acceptance for ensuring an inclusive internet environment, particularly for non-English speakers. He stressed the importance of leveraging technology and fostering collaboration to meet the diverse needs of every user, regardless of language or script. Furthermore, he highlighted India’s potential to lead in setting standards for Universal Acceptance conformance.

Established on June 19, 2003, the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) operates as a not-for-profit (Section 8) company under the auspices of MeitY, with a primary mandate to enhance internet penetration and usage across India. NIXI is entrusted with various infrastructure-related responsibilities aimed at facilitating the effective management and utilisation of the Internet ecosystem by the general populace.

Its core services encompass the establishment of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and administration of the .IN Registry to bolster the digital identity of the .in domain, the facilitation of IPv4 and IPv6 address adoption through IRINN and provision of data storage services via NIXI-CSC’s Data Centre offerings.

India is dedicated to ensuring the broadest possible participation in its digital transformation endeavours, aiming to empower every segment of society to contribute actively to the burgeoning digital economy.

In a collaborative initiative, to transform India’s skill ecosystem, Union Minister of Education and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, revealed a set of strategic partnerships designed to harness state-of-the-art technology. Formulated in conjunction with industry pioneers, educational institutions, and governmental bodies, these initiatives are geared towards bolstering the country’s workforce readiness to thrive in the dynamic and technology-centric environment of the 21st century.

Recognising the transformative potential of digital technologies, the nation is committed to bridging the digital divide and fostering inclusivity, thus enabling individuals from all walks of life to leverage digital platforms for economic empowerment and social advancement.


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