In a move towards a multilingual internet accessible to all, the first Universal Acceptance (UA) Day will be held in New Delhi, India on March 27-28, 2023. UA is essential for fully enabling a multilingual internet and ensuring that domain names and email addresses, regardless of length or language, work in all internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems.
UA Day Kicks Off in New Delhi on March 27-28
The event, hosted by the Indian 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), will feature panel discussions, case studies, networking opportunities, and high-profile remarks. Speakers include representatives from the Government of India, local business leaders, ICANN’s Board Chair Tripti Sinha, ICANN Interim President and CEO Sally Costerton, and Vint Cerf, one of the pioneers of the internet. The two-day event will be held at New Delhi’s Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) auditorium and Manekshaw Center and will be open to in-person and virtual attendees.
Breaking Down Language Barriers: What is UA?
UA refers to the technical requirement that ensures all valid domain names and email addresses can be used by all internet-enabled applications, devices, and systems. According to the press release, despite the changes in the Domain Name System (DNS) in recent years, many software applications still use outdated checks that do not recognize or process new domain names including new generic top-level domains, Internationalized Domain Names, and country code top-level domains. Awareness and support for UA are essential for enabling a truly global, multilingual internet.
A Truly Multilingual Internet: Importance of UA for Businesses and Users
Anil Kumar Jain, CEO of NIXI, stresses the importance of UA in creating a business opportunity and reducing language barriers for users. “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,” says Jain. Jia-Rong Low, ICANN Vice President for Stakeholder Engagement and Managing Director, emphasizes the significance of UA for breaking down language barriers in a region where English is not the primary language.
UA is essential for enabling a truly multilingual internet and bringing more people online. The first UA Day in India highlights the strong commitment of the Indian government and its partners to make the internet accessible to people in their own languages and scripts. Creating a multilingual internet takes all of us and will benefit all users, says Ajay Data, UASG Chair.