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NEW DELHI: The India chapter of the United Nations’ Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will host a three-day conference in October to discuss public policy issues. The conference was announced by Anil Kumar Jain, chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Internet Exchange of India, on Monday. The event is a “multi-stakeholder" engagement on important issues pertaining to internet governance.

“Internet Governance is a complex issue, which includes access to Internet, the Internet as a engine of growth and development in and outside India, availability of critical infrastructure components at various places, development of content in English as well as regional languages, the latest developments and critical aspect of cybersecurity, and also the growing applications around the Internet, like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud, etc," said Jain, who is also the chairman of the coordination committee of the India IGF (IIGF).

The committee includes Broadband India Forum T.V. Ramachandran, founder of the Centre for Digital Economic Policy Research (CDEPR) Jaijit Bhattacharya, and former director-general of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing Rajat Moona. About 12 more members from the government, civil society, industry associations etc. are also involved.

"India is the second-largest broadband subscription country in the world and also has the highest data consumption per user per month. Therefore, the aspirations of the Indians should be reflected in International policy formation and stakeholder discussion," Jain added.

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of the IIGF, which will include events at several universities and colleges in the country. These will act as an opening for the October event mentioned above.

“We still have large number of people who still don’t have broadband. We still have a situation where people are unable to access the Internet either because they don’t have physical connectivity, the Internet is in a language which is alien to them, or they have a language but can’t read because they are either illiterate or visually challenged," said CDEPR’s Bhattacharya. “This conference becomes the starting point of identifying the bottlenecks and of trying to resolve them one by one," he added.

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