17 SEPTEMBER 10
Note: The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during Fifth Meeting of the IGF, in Vilnius. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
(Please stand by for the workshop entitled Local Language Content, Access Transformation & Digital Inclusion).
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Good afternoon, everybody. We are, it is will be about 2:35, 2:40. We should start. People will trickle in gradually. We have almost all the speakers in the panel here. We have about seven to nine people on the panel. I will name them here. Hasanul Haq Inu, a Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Telecommunications in Bangladesh. He is sitting on my right.
We have Mr. Ravi Shanker, Department of IT in India. He is sitting on my left.
We have Dr. Akram Chowdhury from Bangladesh. He is about to come. We have professor Ang Peng Hwa, sitting next to him. And he is the Chairman of AMIC from Singapore and also from Technology. He represents both organisations in Southeast Asia in another manner. He is here. We have Shahzad Ahmad, Bytes for All in Pakistan, sitting next to Mr. Ravi Shanker from Pakistan. And next, Dr. Govind Govind, Department of IT in India, Minister of IT.
Next to him is Mr. Deepak Maheshwari from Microsoft in India. And next to Deepak is Ms. Renu Budhiraja and Pranesh Prakash, sitting next to me. All the panelists are here.
Although we have divided the panel discussion in two part, but for the sake of time and for the sake of involving all the participants here, we will merge the two. The topic, as you can see, is Local Language Content, Access Transformation & Digital Inclusion, how local language is extremely important an issue for the countries in developing world, especially in India where 22 languages are there, and as many cultures.
And same there in Pakistan. Same there in Southeast Asia, full of languages; and languages becoming one of the barriers of digital inclusion. And how do you provide them enough access and transformation in language so that we have them as inclusive in terms of society rather than excluded from the society.
Just to make the ball rolling, I would invite our Chairperson from Bangladesh, His Excellency Hasanul Haq Inu, to get the ball rolling. He is part of the Standing Committee on Technology and he has gotten many legislations changed, lingering from the British Colonial time. He has experience from Bangladesh and will tell us how the discussion here can take hold.
>> HANASUL HAQ INU: Thank you very much. Welcome to this session, workshop number 197, Local Language Content, Access Transformation & Digital Inclusion.
I am heard? It is okay?
>> OSAMA MANZAN: Yes, it's fine.
>> HANASUL HAQ INU: Thank you very much, the Panelists. Thank you, you are here. Thank you, everybody.
Well, I am a politician, as Osama told. I will not be, possibly I will not be methodical like the technical community and experts. Our politicians work, but with this experienced dialogue, we go a little bit here and there, but there is a method to our madness.
So I will try to give a brief rundown on this subject as I have experience across the world and in Bangladesh also.
I will take five to ten minutes and then ask the Panelists to come up with their deliberations.
I'm here in front of the very knowledgeable persons who roll the wheel of development. I take you back 2300 years back in the Indian Subcontinent. There was a Prime Minister called Chonopku. He said 2,000 years back that sandalwood even broken to pieces still has its fragrance. Sugar cane thrown into fire doesn't give up the sweetness and great men even weak doesn't give up greatness. At that time there's no Internet.
So I add with Chonupko: Technocrats, young technocrats, Internet will always connect you to the world. With this opening remarks, let me come to the subject.
Internet is for everyone. Diversity is the key for global Internet. The Internet general the United Nations convention on WSIS has acknowledged the need for Internet and other information technologies for economic development and reduction of digital divide.
The United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, declared that the world is in the midst of general purpose technology. We call it GPT revolution. ICT and GPD, as was many years back, what GPT in the early 20th century. The GPT of our age, ICT, is enabling technology, tooled to level all sectors. It is on learning unlearning the old and adapting to the new creative destruction. There is no doubt that the biggest challenge for the developing nations and for Bangladesh also is poverty. The challenge of the Millennium is to find a successful solution to the problem of poverty, unemployment, empowerment of the poor, women, low Internet penetration, nontransparent old colonial administrative setup and the complex task of linking Bangladesh and all the developing world to the world of higher development.
Everybody is pondering across the world how to master ICT. How to apply ICT, what to apply ICT.
The answer is simple. Apply in such a way so that the maximum people benefits. The social divide is abolished. The excluded are empowered in all sectors always. Mohammed Ali, the great boxer, I hope you remember him. He once said words are hot against nations to change map. War against poverty is hot to map changes. I am one of 150 million people of Bangladesh.
I come here with a clear message from the Prime Minister, who has formed the Government 18 months back. Bangladesh has decided to take up the challenge to eradicate poverty, to map changes by applying ICT to digitize Bangladesh by 2021.
How? By walking on nine legs. eEducation, eHealth, eGovernance, eInfrastructure, eSoftware and hardware industry and others.
It's like a dream, but achievable.
Man is greater sometimes than their dreams. Persons can do and go beyond their dreams. So we have a dream which we want to share.
End users, the people need to have a family familiar environment in order to use Internet. For that we need to answer the following questions: How to generate presentation forms that are appropriate to each culture. How to increase levels of access for all populations. How to make content available in every languages. How to digitize the old machinery. How to promote digital literacy. So we need to develop tools and software to help people with special needs promote the formulation interruption of policies that make the Internet accessible and affordable to everyone.
Needs to develop universal standards regarding language issue in cyber space.
In today's world, information plays an important role, as you know. This necessity has given rise for the requirement of the local language. Content accessible to the society. The local language content may be tuned to meet the requirements of particular society of origin. Ladies and gentlemen, you will be glad to know that Bangladesh has been taking steps to meet its own need for national activities as well as regional cooperation.
We belong to South Asia. The Government has decided recently and has agreed to part of this sub region economic information highway comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, trade and sharing information through expansion of trade and commerce.
Bangladesh understands the needs to make available local contents and tools to make local content among population as directed, Microsoft has cooperated. Microsoft corporation has released a local language pack for Microsoft Office 2007 and local language pack for the Windows 7, and Office 2010 is due.
Open source network has also released Linux, open language in Bangla, my language.
Local software industry and IT freelancing opportunities has created new employment opportunities. Content is encompasses two main aspects, content availability and content hosting. Developing countries needs to include content development international strategies and build local applications and online Government services in local languages.
They are building, demand built on content. Stakeholders need to support content industry which will nourish wide range of content development, services, application sources and demonstrate the impact of such condition tenth on social and economic development.
Besides this, the application of the local language is necessary in top level domain, search engines and to develop correct scripts and standardization.
It is necessary to develop current scripts to keyboard also.
Well, we realise the past and the present part are coming back to Bangladesh again. About the language I told.
Bangladesh is a low income country. The affordability of PC at every household is not possible. The Government set up community centres, community information centres, tele centres across the country to provide community based ICT and other services to facilitate Bangladesh's roll out of mobile broadband facility by 2011 we will have 40,000 tele centres. By 2011 we will have mobile banking across the country. By SMS, you can contact any part of Bangladesh. By 20,128,000 post offices will have eCentres functioning at their centres. These centres are providing services in the area of information dissemination, tele health services, green policy centre. This has brought the accessibility of information using ICT at grassroots level in local language. After the success of the Gramin telephone lady, what we call the mobile lady which numbers 2,270,000 mobile lady with cell phone, the NGOs have now started creating services through Gramin information ladies. These ladies are providing basic healthcare information to basic village woman.
By 2014 18,000 community clinics will go digital. By that time the Government mission will have eGovernance. ECommercial by 2012. By 2014, 4,400 lowest level of Government offices will be connected to the national optical fiber network. We are going to upgrade our bandwidth, which is now 44.6 GBPS to four we are allowing functioning of community reviews by 2021. And we know, as you know, that we have 59 million mobile users, 1.7 million PSGN users and the penetration is 41.8 percent.
This has been achieved within two years. We have 15,000 kilometers of optical fiber network. Population below 30 years is 60 percent. That is 90 million. That is an asset.
So this is the picture of Bangladesh.
The expanding telecom and education network in Bangladesh is bringing new opportunities to the people and increasing digital literacy. By 2014 all the secondary schools numbering 8,500 will have digital labs and classrooms.
So this is a picture how you include the excluded in the society. And for all these activities, we need to develop local language content development in local language that is Bangla. That is a case study and I share with you all the developing countries equally, not only we need to all connect the backward people, the poor people, but we need to develop the necessary content by which you can give the proper service to them.
Well, the key policy approach is to place and put people before power. Put people before profit, put people before politics.
Let us have our complete and seek things to rise with ICT as an enabling tool. Having a strategic decision to speed up local language content development, push up access to information and include the excluded for digital inclusion.
Well, in conclusion, I go back to the great Prime Minister of India who said never trust rivers; it erodes. Never trust armed persons; they may betray. Never trust any forms, they may hit you. Never trust ruling families.
But he did not know the use of Internet, but I say you can trust on ICT. It will always connect you.
Thank you very much. I ask Osama to conduct this session.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you very much. I think your speech could well have been in the Plenary Section and also in the UN General Assembly. It was very enlightening to know about how Bangladesh is taking a lot of effort and it has to be an example for many neighboring countries as well.
We will go further and I will go to my left and I will invite Mr. Ravi Shanker, the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology from India to highlight some of the issues around local language content, access transformation and digital inclusion and what are the efforts that is being taken in India, being 22 language country. If you have some examples come from there, many solutions can come from there for the entire region.
>> RAVI SHANKER: Thank you, Osama.
I would like to say that Honorable Chairman has covered a lot of ground. That leaves very little for me to say. But having been asked to give the perspective regarding India, I would like to mention a few things. It is often said that act locally and think globally. I think today's session or the workshop team is very much in that genre. We have to work in the local language in order to connect ourselves to the global village.
If I can work in my language and use the Internet, then in a way the digital divide is bridged and I become part of the global village. I think I would use this as the theme of my brief talk. India is a multilingual country and we have 22 constitutionally recognized language. Each of these language would be the official language of one or the other of the States.
The major language is Hindi, which is understood by over 500 million people in the country. And we do have a number of other languages which are spoken in many parts of the world. We share a common language with Bangladesh, Bangla. We share two common languages with Pakistan Urdu and is Hindi, Punjab in fact.
We share languages with Malaysia and other countries, Tamil, and we have a multitude of languages and people who reside in India's rural areas, forming three fourths of the geographical configuration are not a department with either English or Hindi. So their flavor is local.
It is very important that in order to bridge the digital divide we need to take content in the local language.
We are about six or seven Indians sitting here across the table. I can tell you one thing, that while all speak English or Hindi, each one of us in our home speak a different language. That may not be understood by one other in the group. If that is an indicator, you can understand how multilingual we are.
Coming back to the central point, it is very important that we create content in the local language. Than and in this direction the Government of India has taken a number of initiatives. We have a major programme called the technology development in Indian language. The technology development in Indian language is consortium based activity in which technologists and linguistic experts have come together and tried to see how to bridge the digital divide through the technological platforms.
Machine translation from one Indian language to another Indian language, machine translation from English to other Indian languages are some of the major activities.
Similarly, the development of tools in all the 22 constitutionally recognized Indian languages have been completed. This is a task which has been done by one of our scientific societies called the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing. They have been in the for front of developing the language initiatives over the last 15, 20 years. And it is something which we have been at it since the very inception of the Internet technology.
Understanding that we are a multilingual society, our technologists and linguistic experts have been working on these particular areas.
Computer courses. We must recognize one thing that the computer world is pretty Anglo centric. And people tend to think that it is necessary to know the English language in order to be successful in the use of computer technologies and grow in this world, but it is imperative to bridge that particular myth or digital divide and see to it that we technologists and policy planners work in a concerted way to facilitate the common people. That is exactly what the Government of India is doing.
We have in background a programme of capacity building in a manner in which people can get themselves familiarized with the use of computers, acquainted in computer usage through the local language.
Basic computer concept courses which have been developed in English have been rendered or translated in ten Indian languages and are available freely on the Web.
We intend to actually embark on a major initiative of national skill development in order that we are able to see that people are trained in the use of computers at their local areas in the local languages.
We have what are known as the common service centres. These are public access points or cyber cafes as you would call it. We have 100,000 public access points to be set up over 600,000 villages. 80,000 are already up and running.
It is at these centres that we would be offering local language training activities in order that people residing in the rural areas are able to get themselves familiarized with the use of computers.
Trying to empower people, trying to educate on a mass scale is an important aspect of bridging the digital divide. Not only is the localisation of language important, but the outreach mechanism is as much important.
We are a mobile country. When I say a mobile country, what I would like to emphasize is that technology, mobile technology has been so successful in India that half the population has mobile. 600 million plus population has a mobile device.
Now, this is the device through which Internet was going to be accessed in the future. Recently the Government has concluded that 3G and BW are options. It is a signal of the times that mobile Internet has come to stay. Now, I would expect that in the future not just technology but commerce would drive the use of the mobile Internet. Applications which have to be value added services and in local language. Will give an escalation and an exponential growth to the use of mobiles.
And mobile Internet available on that particular device.
The initiatives of localisation have to go beyond this in one more facet. This is where I would like to bring that particular dimension to the table. We are primarily an oral society. When I say oral society, our tradition has been to hear all the sayings orally and sort of accumulate it mentally and then pass it on from one generation to the other.
Documentation in the classical sense is quite a recent phenomenon. And this is more so in the rural areas.
So being an oral society, there has been this tradition in which you convey through speech. Communication through speech is the basic emphasis. That is why mobile has been a major success in the Indian Subcontinent.
It is imperative to see that learning can also be imparted in a manner through the mobile. I would not say eLearning. I would go one step ahead and say M learning is necessary. The more you hear it and talk about it and the more you retain. That is where we will have growth.
The concept of wise Web is necessary. Like the World Wide Web which is more text based, I would think a wise Web is the need of the time. That is what is going to enhance the growth of the Internet and it is there that the localisation, trying to fit in according to the cultural requirements, is very much necessary.
We in the country are trying to work towards ubiquitous Indian search engine so that what is being offered in the English language in the matter of Google or so, we are able to create a whole corpora and create the Indian nation in that context.
I would think to bring this into a canopy to show that in Indian society, we need to have outreach and reach out. Thank you.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you, Mr. Ravi Shanker, that was a broad perspective from India's point of view, how the language issues are being taken care of in Government initiatives.
I will take liberty to allow me to invite Pranesh, he has to leave for airport. He requested that if he can be invited.
From the society's point of view, you represent The Centre for Internet Society. What perspective do you have to share?
>> PRANESH PRAKASH: Clarification, I generally represent myself and not necessarily the views of CIS, but I am glad to speak on this issue. And I think that's fine.
I'm glad to speak on this issue.
Now, around 20 seconds back unfortunately the file that I had created of things I have to speak about just disappeared. So that tells a little bit about digital technologies and not relying overly on ICT for all forms of access, but I do remember the points I wanted to raise.
And first when you were talking about access, it can be thought along different lines. It can be thought about as multiculturalism and multilingualism, which is part of what we are talking about today. It can be thought about as access for persons who are differently abled, okay. So persons with disabilities, aged, people who are not able to participate which is different from multiculturalism and multilingualism.
We can think about access in terms of cost and affordability of things. And we can also think about access as access to knowledge, which is where the issue of intellectual property rights come about as a very important aspect.
And lastly, we can also think about access to frameworks of access. This is somewhere that equipment, okay, so infrastructure, software, communication networks, the availability of service providers like in an open market and very importantly open digital standards become an important issue.
Now, very often there's a tendency to divide up issues of development and issues of human rights into separate camps. So thinking of one possibly in terms of economic and social rights and the other in terms of civil and political rights. Now, in this I really appreciate the framework that Amurta Singh brings about in which he talks about development as freedom, he talks about the capabilities approach.
Now, I truly do believe that such an approach is very important because that makes us realise that development of this sort is truly empowering, not just in a purely economic and social sense, but also allows you to participate completely in political and civil life. So having said that, getting on to the issue of local content, I'll, obviously there are many people here from the Indian Government and most of what I will say comes from the Indian context. I don't need to quite tell them about the efforts of the Indian Government, so I won't.
I will instead look at some other areas and some other fora from which we can learn about local content, right? And how best to generate more of it.
And when I was thinking about this issue, it immediately struck me that one of the largest Wikipedia outside of the English language Wikipedia is the Malayalam language Wikipedia. That is a process that we are facilitating. Similarly some issues relating to Unicode and Indian languages were highlighted by volunteers who were involved in translation of free software from one language to another, localisation, right?
So this aspect of volunteer energy is immensely important of what Ubi Bangler calls peer to peer common spaced creation of value, right?
And one issue I would like to highlight is based on an ancient says: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it actually fall?
Some have changed that to the IGF context: If the session happens in the IGF and no one tweets about it, did it happen?
But more contextually, if there is content available but it is not readily searchable, you can't readily access it or can't readily find it, how relevant is that content?
Local language search is something that is immensely important and is an area that we have to pay more attention to. And quite frankly in lots of areas enough, in terms of localisation technologies there is a fair amount of momentum, but this is one area that I don't see enough momentum.
In terms of actually interacting with your computer and having text, there are, of course, problems that I'm not quite well equipped to talk about. Keyboard layouts and how those work, to language scripts.
But one issue that I do want to highlight is that even if a proper language system exists for any given language, if a script exists and lots of languages are there around the world which don't have scripts of their own. So that's another issue that needs to be thought about, right? That takes off very well from the point Mr. Ravi Shanker was making about the oral tradition. There are numerous such languages both in India and outside.
Now, in this context, I would like to highlight the issue of font availability that often times, even when you have systems like unicode, even when you have that kind of mapping available, you often don't have open fonts that you can use freely in your documents. The ones which are free to use which you don't have to pay for are in fact not that very good. So this is a problem that English users often don't have to face up with, but this is a very real issue for local language computing.
These are just some of the issues I wanted to raise and bring to the table. Quite unfortunately I won't be able to stick around much to hear the further discussion on this. I am very apologetic about that, but I want to thank Osama very much for giving me the opportunity to appear here.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: In fact, we have more viewers and listeners outside of this room all over the world and even in this room.
I'm looking at the live Webcast that is going on in the remote participation that is going on. We are perhaps more responsible to the people around the world who is listening directly, thanks to the availability. So Pranesh, all of this will be available while you will be in some airport where you get free WiFi to see what is happening.
Thank you very much for being here.
I will go to the next speaker, the panel, and I would request from Southeast Asia representing Professor Ang Peng Hwa. He gave me one slide presentation. You want me to open that?
>> ANG PENG HWA: Okay. Like His Excellency, I don't represent my University. My University ranging has fallen from 73 to 174. So I don't represent the University.
Okay. I am just making some points based on what I know, especially because of my friend Ban Tin Wi, who pioneered IDNS before it was known as IDNS. I put up this slide because it is kind of interesting.
The point here is that a lot of this noninclusion because of language is an oversight, inadvertent. This sign, is it a toilet. I say our Chairman from embarrassing himself and going to jail because he was going to the woman's toilet. I said Nitin, this way! If you look at this side, how do you know which is man and woman. The person on the left is big chest. It could be a female. But men also have a big chest, no? How do you know?
How about ... okay. The big bottom. Some men have big stomachs, you know? Is this a big man or big skirt? You know, it's very confusing.
Just now I see another guy going to the wrong toilet.
So I think it's not deliberate. They didn't set out to confuse us, confuse me maybe. I shout "Hello, anybody here?" Low voice, before I walk in.
I think it's kind of interesting. It is inadvertent. I don't think that let me talk about the issue of language that is deliberate, right? My friend says if the Internet invented in Thailand, we would all be writing Thai script, no? This is the way to do it, it's natural.
This issue has been raised to our attention and the question is: What do we do next, given what we now know.
Let me put some issues out here on the table. My job is as professor and I'm supposed to profess, which means I'm also supposed to be provocative. Otherwise I wouldn't have a job, right?
I think that many of the issues that are relevant have been raised and pointed out very well. Let me talk about the issue of promoting content. You talk about software programming menus, localisation.
Talk about the programming language. So I think in some ways this is an issue of content and availability and hosting.
Now if you look at a new area, if you want to get into if you talk about pioneering efforts, there are two groups of people who will be there. We take this as a new area, two groups. One group of a business. And a new area, business, you look at the dot com arena. By 1997, almost every word in the English language was used up. Maybe six or a dozen, it was like "vomit" was not used, a few other words. Otherwise there was all dot coms, it took up all the names.
In the space, business has come in very big.
One way to look at promoting content of different languages would be how can we use business to drive this content? The commercial logic is by being able to reach these people using more specific language you will get more business. So I think it's a way, for example, in eCommerce to do something that will help use of the language. I lived in India for a year. It was interesting to see the elections at the time going on. Someone set up a Web site in Guturat to solicit funds. And this person collected more money than was allowed under the election rules and more money than the cost of her elections. I think she collected 30Leks. That would be what, ten, 20 no, no. 30 leks 3 million Rupees, $60,000. Okay. Thank you.
She collected more money than she actually needed. If you can tell the politician that you set up a a Web site, you collect more money than you are allowed to collect, you would get much more interest in setting up site. There is a way to drive language use.
We should look at business in some way to see how we drive business. Government has ways to put things online because business as commercial logic, the effort is more sustainable.
Another one, and this one may be controversial, but like I said, I think I have to be provocative here, keeps me occupied.
Religion. Right? In any new area, the businessman goes first and very soon after that it's the missionary. Okay? So Pranesh was talking about how languages are totally oral. There are religious groups that developed written languages. I know that because I had a friend in the University who went out to I think Papua New Guinea to develop a language for them so he could translate the bible.
I know people you using Internet now, Internet and IT to help export translation. So again if we can use religion in that way because there is an interest to the business was regional in the pockets. This is reaching the heart, the soul. If there is a way to allow the people to develop languages to allow the bible or other scriptures to be available, there is interest driving the language. Religion is a very sensitive issue here, I am very aware of that. We should consider that as a possible way to drive language use.
In connection with that, another area now is education. Pranesh talked about a wiki. Perhaps we should explore the use of wikis and similar uses by students. Student of the local area to put content online. It could be school students or University students, but some content that will be local, of some use to the community.
I think that an area that should be explored, the wiki is interesting, I didn't know that, that Malayasalam is the second biggest wiki. Given India, there are so many minority languages, 100 million people, there's a market there.
My final point is that many of these efforts do need to be looked at from the point of view of research and from the point of view of sharing best practices. And here putting on my research hat and professor hat, some effort should be researched. I was talking to Osama and how for cyber cafes the first phase of cyber cafe is when you implemented. The success rate was 3 percent based on the study my colleague and I did. Looking at all cyber cafes. The success rate, the sustainability, only 3 percent.
But we researched the success rate has gone up to 30 percent. The second wave, so called second wave, 30 percent. Ten fold increase. Big savings. However, of course, you can still a loss, 70 percent. In fact, my colleagues and I are looking at research to see how to improve the success rate.
These are all pioneering efforts. We are all new in the field and mean well, but we are not quite sure how to do it. A lot of the efforts can have better efficiency and result and in the end a lower cost if some of this money were spent on research so that we derive a better outcome. These are things on the table for all to consider. Thank you.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you Ang Peng Hwa.
No doubt a lot of effort goes and it doesn't come into the picture where application can take place. To give you the perspective of some of the localisation effort and some of the effort that can take place, in India at least, we have 650,000 villages which are represented by 250,000 local counselors F you think they all can be digitised and be made broadbanded, local language becomes automatically upload. Some of the geometric projected efforts are required all across those countries and places where these kinds of things are happening. Now that you are saying from 3 percent to 30 percent success rate of centres, we claim we have implemented 60 to 70,000 tele centres. Either we have to get ready about 70 percent of the failure or 97 percent failure if we call it first phase or second phase, that means we have to take the best practices and case studies that are done to look at that very, very closely.
I will come back to the next panel here. I will request Shahzad if he has something to share from Pakistan. He is one of the most traveled person in the ICT D sector and represents Pakistan quite forcefully, especially in more in activist manner. I know that by reading his tweets, I realise that he is literally had the Government make to hear all the negative things that they are doing in Pakistan.
Shahzad, do you have something to share what is happening in Pakistan?
>> SHAHZAD AHMAD: Thank you, Osama.
And for this interesting introduction, quickly I will not take much time on this. I really wish that I actually feel very honoured sitting with high level Government officials from Government of India and member of Parliament from Bangladesh.
Such an honour. I wish somebody from Pakistan Government was also here. Unfortunately, there is no Government representation at the IGF.
Well, looking at the particular specific topic of today's session, from Pakistani perspective I think our challenge still is provision of access. I think the other issues come a bit later. Before that, we need to provide access to all the, the whole of the country. To give you a quick stats, we have about 170 million people. 99 million people have mobile connections and there are about 4 million who use Internet. And about there is a very minimal percentage that uses broadband as we need to have some serious interventions on provision of broadband services in the country.
So when we talk about the issue of access, I think this is about time that Government and the regulator of telecommunications need to consider mobile broadband penetration in the country. Looking at the huge number of users of broadband, we should have had 3G service available in the country, but as you know, we've got about seven telecos who are providing cellular services and their dynamics, market dynamics which actually, they have means to pressurize the regulator not to go for 3G auction and resulting people are deprived of good quality of access in the country.
Having said that, though people can access mobile Internet and remote cities, but that is again on ad service which is very minimal, very little speed. You cannot do anything meaningful using Internet with that kind of service.
Then I would touch a bit upon policy implications and how it all works. Internet revolution started in the country, I must say, in 2002 and that was a very forward looking and excellent policy document. That enabled a lot of different marketplaces to come in. It was actually the market dynamics which helped progress the telecom, the whole telecom sector in the country.
We now need policy interventions at some point in time at some level. Without that we can not make sure that people have equitable, people have reasonably good access.
As I think, when we would have access, the content will follow. I can quote one example. A quick example over here. We have a virtual university. This is a very successful and excellent example of how this University uses ICTs to teach their students. There are 6,000 videos which the students use via YouTube. But unfortunately, those students live in remote areas. It is meant for those people who live in remote areas and cannot come down to the expensive universities and they can just stay at the place where they work and with minimal fees and they can still continue to get their education.
So these people are deprived because they don't have good access available at their places. They can not access this content.
So I must also highlight this fact that this content is available in all different languages which they need to know. So it is in Urdu. There is content in Pashtun as well. And there are subjects in English. So that's another point which I wanted to make that okay, content will follow, but first they need to provide access, good access.
Then for a moment I will stop here and with the discussion with the other participants we can talk more on this. Thank you.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Okay. We have a small intervention here from Connie Kendig from the Internet Society. She has to leave but she wanted to put her comment here. The reason I'm giving to her comment at this time because she represents the Internet Society and that is a global point of view. And Carlos, I will also becoming to you. Be ready for the Latin America point of view and language issue in that area.
She said in order to grow in content, there must be demand for that content. It is grown through increased accessibility, not only in the bottom up and top down approach needed but also a multistakeholder approach. It is the responsibility of all major players within the Internet system and basic users and those that create content to work together to promote local content and thus increased use and demand for Internet accessibility, particularly in under represented communities and languages.
The Internet Society's motto is the Internet is for everyone and all of our programmes and activities work towards realising that phrase.
She has given a few examples. One of the examples she has put in is from a small grant that she has provided, Internet Society provided to my organisation for digital linkages where we are creating Web sites for local counselors and the regional Internet programmes all over the world especially focusing in regions through the local chapters.
And the third is Internet exchange point programme where new ISPs are installed by local engineers in order to provide faster, less expensive activity that allows participation in creation and use, very much to the point that we are discussing here.
And she ends by saying that as mentioned earlier by a Panelist, the Internet Society too is thinking globally, acting locally in its activities. As civil society, we invite all levels of society in this digital world we live in to participate in driving local content creation.
Thank you, Connie. It is already broadcasted all over the world. So you are in limelight.
Thank you, thank you for your intervention.
I will come back to our series of panels and may I request Dr. Govind, from the Ministry of IT. He is Director there and also involved in locally in Internet Governance related issues and many other issues on similar ground. You have something to share with us?
>> GOVIND GOVIND: Thank you, Osama, and thank you the elegant panel here. My task has been considerably reduced by Mr. Co chair, Mr. Ravi Shanker, who touched upon many aspects of the Internet development efforts in the country.
I will dwell on, yesterday I was listening to one of the workshops where they were discussing which aspect of IGF is more important: Whether the access should be delivered or the content or the security or the openness or the Critical Internet Resources.
The debate will continue, but we have to see that, you know, the access and content is the most important aspects of the inclusive development of the society and how can we leverage these two. One cannot exist without the other kind of situation.
When we talk about the content, we are basically referring to two kinds of content. One is the, like in the Internet when we open the browser www. the Web site, that Web site is presented in English only. Even if the content in that particular Web is in local language, Hindi or Bangla or others, that Web site is still accessible only through the 029, the Anglo centric kind of script.
So we have to tackle this issue. Like when a local language person look at the Web site, he is not aware whether this is his Web site, whose Web site, what is the content kind of thing.
We have this issue that has been tackled in the ICANN which is now known as the internationalised domain names where we are converting domain names in the gTLDs. The effort has started with the local language domain names. In this effort, many countries, the country code domain in Egypt, federation, the Sri Lanka, has come out with the local language. Like in India we put it in dot IN. We are going through dot this is the first step in the localisation of the Internet, which is very important step, I will say, apart from the content which is underlying in that particular Web site.
But before you see the content, the Web site itself needs to be converted into the local language so that the person who is looking into the site feels that it is his, what he was looking. Otherwise he will look at this, even at the content in the local language, look through some other lens of English. Even in hard times in one of the popular languages, language newspaper in India, it is in the English language, but the Web site is in English, the content is Hindi.
So in this effort, the Government of India has started the initiative to internationalize the domain names, the cocaine tenth as you are aware.
We have 22 official languages. Each language is very important. We cannot say one is more important than the other. Hindi and Bangla have many hundred million speakers.
We have developed the process in the ICANN, they have accepted the applications and only on their Web site they have come out with seven languages in the dot ... script. Which will be the shortened of any Web site, in Urdu, Hindi, Bangla, Tamil these seven languages, script and languages have been accepted and they are going to be, and this process took a little more than six to seven months as the process started last November the.
The second aspect of the content comes in the Web site, Web pages. What we call how the contents. There are contents in the print media. There are contents in the television channels. There are contents in the film media, but these contents are presented not in digitised form so Government of India has attacked that in three formats. The technology framework, policy framework and the actual digitisation process.
So there are these technical policy framework we developed, where we have developed Indian languages effort is on in the ministry where we are looking at the 22 official languages of the country. The fonts, someone Pranesh talked about the fonts are not available, but they have been released a few months back in all 22 official languages. These are freely distributed and this is really downloadable from the Web site. Anybody can see how these fonts can be used, he doesn't know how to put the fonts and there are soft screens also where you can download the fonts and use the fonts for your local scripting the local language content.
The second aspect is the Unicode Consortium. India is a member of the Global Unicode Consortium. We are translating into every local language standard, so it is available to convert from one language to another language and can be put in the computer.
One aspect of the World Wide Web where we recently opened an office in the country where again it is a localisation effort which is going on in the country to put the local contents through this World Wide Web standards which is available in the country.
Their aspect is how the various tools and technologies that, the solution tools, translation tools and other efforts which will help us. Unless these tools are available to the common man so we have seen that these tools are freely downloadable from the Web site of the Sudak and Government of India Web site and people can easily see how these Web content can be developed which are a barrier in these tools and technology frame.
However, there are certain challenges like the standardization of these character generation of the keyboards, standardization of the documentation format which has very good, which are presented available? The English language, but these need to be formatted and standardized in the languages so that one document can be converted into another and the other thing I think that we will talk about this more on the standardization efforts.
The third dimension I will say of the language, development of the local language content will more or less depend on how the applications are developed. Unless there are many applications like eGovernance efforts which are going on on the eCommerce, the eLearning, unless there is pressure from the application side, this content will not be developed. Thanks to the efforts of many of these applications which are coming up in the country, the pressure of these eGovernance and service delivery systems, these will kick start the localisation of the content because unless these services are available in the local content, these things cannot move forward.
So certain learning aspects of the eLearning, content in local language, CSS has gone through the development of the computer in ten of the Indian languages and which are freely available for the initial standard students and then the third aspect is the how the eCommerce, the areas banks transactions, they can purchase and sell and these kinds of things can be put for the common man through the various kiosks, concepts each are coming up in the country, how these contents can be logicalised through these various applications and the efforts going on in there.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Wonderful. Those are very, very technically oriented but largely impactful intervention. Thank you very much.
I will quickly come back to you a little later. Carlos, do you have something to share from Latin America since you have been one of the regulators, the telecom penetration issues? What is the situation in those areas? If you can share that, that will literally add a value in this entire discussion to have another region's perspective taken care of.
>> CARLOS AFFONSO SOUZA: As you know, in Latin America we are still struggling with access and accessibility. There is still a way long to go in terms of penetration.
However, mobile telephony has created a sort of leap frog in which many of the poor now have access to Internet. And of course, the question of content is becoming more and more relevant within the region.
I would say that the main challenge for the Latin American region and for the Spanish speaking countries is to develop relevant content, relevant content that creates value for the population. Nowadays through the mobile Internet access you can access very useful information for agriculture or for other sorts of activities, but unfortunately you cannot find that information in Spanish.
That means that the relevant and useful content that could be an incentive to create more users and for secluded regions to adopt mobile Internet connections, they don't do that because not only because it is still too costly but because they don't see a real value in their activities.
I think that one of the sectors that is driving the adoption of mobile Internet through content is the Government, of course, is the first generator of relevant content, particularly when you can save a trip to the capital in order to get some information, some basic information.
I think that our access to information law was very useful to improve the amount of content disposable for the population. Now by law it is an obligation for all of the Government agencies to put their information online and, therefore, through the mobile this content, this governmental content which is relevant for the population has been the main engine in terms of content. However, from the private and academic sector they are still in debt.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you so much. I just wanted to remind all our Panelists to be ready with at least two or three recommendations with which we will close because we don't have much time left by the time we are through with the panel. I will come back to each one of you to have one, two, three, four recommendations which we can say that what we should do. You know, in terms of suggestions and in terms of recommendation. Not only particularly in south Asia or Southeast Asia. It could be a global perspective also.
In terms of language accessibility and digital inclusion.
Coming back to the panel, could I request Deepak Maheshwari, Director of Corporate Affairs of Microsoft India, to share his point of view. You are perhaps the only one from the corporate angle and this is your platform. Thanks.
>> DEEPAK MAHESHWARI: As Osama knows shall corporate responsibility is also on my team. Perhaps it's perfectly fine for me to say that.
India we have a saying, the taste of the water changes every 4 miles and the language changes every 2 miles. Yes, we have that change of diversity.
The interesting thing about India, not just about the 22 languages, in the constitution the interesting thing beyond that, these 22 languages span across 11 different scripts, including Roman script, by the way and the other thing is, that we have a situation of one language in multiple scripts and one script which uses, which is actually supports multiple languages. That's one aspect.
The second thing when we look at ICTs we should remember one thing. After all, computers are digital machines. And the computers or mobile phones or any such networks, these things, the primarily do not understand the language as we are referring to in the language, not just C and C++ but in terms of the languages. What the computer understands is the scripts, not the languages. That's one aspect.
The second thing is, if you look at normally if you see any language, it's an evolutionary process that the language developed over centuries and new words get added, deleted, new information comes up. Words like Internet and Web, words that did not exist that way. In the time of Shakespeare, we had thou shalt, et cetera, which we today do not use so much. It is not static. It is dynamic, like India itself.
If you look at telephony as one model, the content was being generated and consumed by the users in situ and at that point in time itself and it would crease to exist except for wiretaps, et cetera.
If you look at the Internet scenario, the situation started that Internet if you see the starting, people were consuming and generating content simultaneously. Then some people were generating people generating and people consuming the content.
It has come back to user generated content and other types of forms, we are looking at the phenomena of users generating as well as consuming content.
In the book Future Shock, he called the world consumers the presumers. People are consuming as well as producing the content and when we look at language, look at that consequence. Perhaps James Cameron that took a lot of reports and technology and other things to develop a language of just about a thousand words for his movie Avatar for the Navi tribe.
Any living language, it's a complex process and an ongoing situation.
Within that concept, if you see just look at the play of the words itself. We talk the term localisation. That means we are using non script, non Roman, non English languages and developing content and when it comes to the domain name, we go to globalisation and not localisation. The both mean the same as Dr. Gupta just mentioned in that respect.
Some of the things that are happening in terms of, we are supporting, for example, more than 50 languages including 15 Indian languages, in fact and out of the 22. And so different products, et cetera, they are coming.
But coming very specifically about the audience. It is very important for the browsers to support unicode and unicode is a way that it can give you the real translation in terms of how that particular word has been rendered. To give an example, Microsoft itself can be rendered in 50 different variants in a single 50 different scripts, sorry, spellings in a single script. Now in India.
So now, one could say Microsoft in different ways and if somebody is going to Microsoft.com, how do you ensure that that is the particular Web site that one is actually going? Especially when you are looking at the mobile type devices, it is very important to enable these types of things to maybe there is a facility that the user can actually Zoom in the browser bar to you can certify this is where you want to go.
Second thing is, you should have more color coding type of thing so we have the right technology so that in case there is a fake Web site it is pink, but if it's yen within, it will show up in green.
Beyond languages, again we need to get back as we just mentioned in terms of the results. Results, yes, they may create problems, but results have their own value and these are more comprehensible by people including by those not in the trade, for that not well trained for that matter.
We should look at the type of three aspects of localisation actually. The Minister, Member of Parliament mentioned about the local language content, local relevance of content. Beyond that I would say it's also important to have more and more local hosting and local routing of the content itself because suppose, and I suppose if there is somebody in Dhaka who sees content in Bangla but if the content is routed across a lot of other networks, perhaps the latency itself may not be appropriate for those people to be in a position to consume it.
Or be useful to them.
So one very important thing is to involve more and more people to develop the content also because it should not be happening that the people are seen only as a passive consumers of the content, but actually active producers of the content also. I say that's one important thing.
Second thing is, these three different, I'll say translations, transliteration and transcription. These three different aspects one has to look at in terms of the content generation. So today, for example, we have got a new tool which we developed in India in Hyderabad and it is already available every day, nowadays. In Hindi, I get approximately the speed about 60 percent of my speed in typing. It works pretty well. You start typing something. If I type Osama as O S A, O S A A et cetera, it will still type the same thing. There are a lot of those tools for India. There's a lot of such tools have come up. That's another area that we will need to look at. So there are two types of people. One is those who know Roman keyboard or Roman script and they can be given certain types of tools where they can use something. They can create content.
Second type of things, we still have to develop tools for people don't know the Roman script. More of the hard keyboards, the soft keyboards are coming in handy, flexible, low cost and the same device you can flip across those types of things. That's one area of development.
The second thing is, in case of especially the adoption and Osama mentioned about the comments of the centres, et cetera. I would say one of the important things to consider is this: Again giving Indian context. So we have 27 projects and out of those, nine of natural and 11 of them are central and state level and others are, of course, the condition current type of thing. It is state level applications which will actually drive much more adoption of the local language than the central Government application because the central Government applications would be in English and maybe in Hindi or something like that, but in the local, at the state level we will see much more adoption of these types of things.
Second thing is, most of the services that citizens actually at track are the state or Government authorities, could be municipal, could be a grant or something like that, than compared to the central Government type of thing. In terms of the volumes in terms of the affinity, it is much more proximity wise. The state Government's role in proliferation of these types of things in local languages.
The last thing is in terms of the type of things that people are talking about, how do you promote it for. One of the things that I have started doing is and I know some people in this hall itself tried to provoke them, as far as sending e mails in Hindi. So sending them in Hindi and what is that you are doing? Why are you doing. Then you actually have to tell people, look, this is how you can do. I have seen not everybody, but many of us have also started trying. Otherwise, what happens is that people keep talking about it. People may have developed technologies and that type of thing, but the evidence is not yet available to people that yes, these things are available and they are not very difficult to use. Once you start doing that type of thing it's not that difficult.
And when we are looking at coordination in terms of standardization. I would say in fact one great example in India is press information bureau which is the official Web site giving all the Government of India's press releases. It was giving press releases in English as well as some of the Indian languages also.
Just last month in August they have actually made everything in unicode now. That way what happens is, even if you look at let's say a press release in Urdu or Hindi, you copy from there and you use that text somewhere else, it goes as it is. That is something that is fantastic. What is happening, because of these type of standardized scripts, people are finding it much more easy to now consume take content which has been created in the PIB Web site elsewhere also. Thank you.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thanks a lot. Interestingly, you know, we have a chat panel going on from the remote participants.
>>: In which language?
>> OSAMA MANZAR: In English. And there are two interventions there. One person is asking, is there any African Panelist or representative here who can highlight the issues in Africa?
The second is Reinhard, about the European point of view.
So please, go ahead. Why don't you put your intervention.
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Very briefly, I would like to contribute two perspectives to this and opening up the discussion a little bit. One is that as has been said, like in India where you have 22 languages, Europe is an continent that has to deal with a multilinguality and has to find solutions to it. The European Commission has invested for many, many years into research and public private partnerships programmes to allow researchers and industry to develop schemes and programmes and technologies to address, make multilingual content available to its citizens.
There are two initiatives that have been around for quite some time in the era of localisation and translation of digital content. One is the localisation research centre at the University of Limerick where I work.
The next is the Next Generation Localisation Centre. It's co funded by the Science Foundation of Ireland to the tune of 16 million Euros. That must be the biggest investment in to the development of localisation technologies in the world that I'm aware of, as I'm aware of.
So it's co funded by The Science Foundation of Ireland and nine industrial partners. There is a total of four Irish Universities involved and nine industrial partners. Some of them based in Ireland like Ireland's, Microsoft's Irish office. Also IBM, large companies, Nippon printing in Japan and smaller service providers and larger multinational service providers, too.
I think it's a very important initiative in Europe that really should be on the map and that people should be aware of.
The other thing is that when we talk about localisation translation, we talk very often about the business case and business driving those efforts. You know, people, there's thousands of people that are dying every day not because of lack of access to clean water or because of lack of access to medicine, but because of lack of access to information. Just because of lack of access to information in their language.
So what we need to do and what each of us has to say when we go back home, when we talk to the institutions that we work with is that access to information in your language and my language is a human right. It is not a nice to have. It's not something driven by business requirements, by business plan. It's something that every, each and every human on this planet has a right to get access to.
And the next point that we all have to make is that this right currently is denied to millions of people, billions of people on our planet. So this is not something where we can just sit back and relax and let somebody take over. This is something where we all have to become active straightaway and have next year's IGF make this topic one of the core topics because if you don't do something about it, thousands of people will die every day because they don't have access to information in their language.
The third one is really what you said before. We have to get out of here with three, four, five action points that we can take all back home and do something about. And collaborate and exchange between all of us here.
Thank you for the opportunity to give you that information.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you, Reinhard. You are from Ireland. Can you elaborate which organisation you are from?
>> REINHARD SCHALER: Reinhard Schaler is my name; Director of The Research Centre at the University of Limerick and founder of the Rosetta Foundation, a foundation set up last year with the industry veterans. People who have been active and Vice Presidents, Presidents of large localisation service providers and publishers to address this large, large gap that the commercial mainstream localisation and translation industries leave behind. Where there is no business case but where there is urgent need to provide translation and localisation services.
This is what we are going to address and what we are addressing and we already have worked with NGOs and civil society to fill that gap that's left behind by Governments and by commercial providers.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you.
I think we are extremely lucky we have Esmaeil Niknahal, who is from Somalia. We are missing the African angle in the entire discussion. Perhaps we will conclude the cycle of the continents. And Esmaeil, can you express your point of view?
>> ESMAEIL NIKNAHAL: Thank you very much. I want to summarize a few ideas, if you want.
I am from Somalia. I will say a few things about Somalia in particular, but let me tell you quickly what else is happening in the continent in general. I am currently based in Somalia. Before that I was in Melbourne University, a researcher for Melbourne University in Australia. I took a year to work with the Somalia Government. One way of paying tax. I had free education in Somalia, very good education.
Sadly, when I went back, there were hardly any Universities or institutions. We decided, we Somalis decided to kill ourselves and everything else.
We are trying now to rebuild one of those institutions, one institution at a time. In my area I'm focused on the IT area and communication and so on.
Africa in general, there are a lot of interesting ICT projects happening. I'm sure you've heard about the ISPs and use of mobile phones for money transfer, very small.
Quickly, I want to bring the discussion to put into context what we were talking before. I couldn't help but notice, for example, when I was listening to His Excellency's remarks about this. We are all trying to solve the same problems and face the same challenges. There is room for collaboration. Perhaps with collaboration where exactly all the problems you mention are the same things we are trying to solve. And we are inventing the wheel and doing the same thing that you already satisfactorily solved. We can save ourselves a lot of trouble and investment if we can do that.
Now, the other area I just want to quickly mention is development itself in general. We real off a lot of stats from the Millennium goals and what have you. And sometimes it is misleading. I keep repeating some example for the last few days and I will mention it again. For example, when you hear in Somalia, two things you hear, it is number one in Africa in terms of telecommunication, which is true. You get the cheapest calls, best coverage and so on.
On the other hand, we are number one in the failed states, number one failed state in the world. How do you link the two and say on the one hand you are a failed state and on the other hand best telecommunications.
So we need to be careful when we are looking at development stats and all these millennium goals and so on.
The last thing about our nation, when you talk about education an content and what have you, perhaps we should really look at the deeper, more profound need for education. Not just superficial stuff. A lot of people if you look at what we are doing or what people are doing in general, we are doing superficial stuff. All the deeper learning is missing. You might find somebody ten, 20 hours a day but if you ask them questions about civics, duties, et cetera, they have no idea.
I think I will stop there. And thank you so much.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thanks so much. And last I will request Renu to have a quick view so that we take the last round before we reach 4:30. We are almost 4:20. Quick view from Renu from D ICT.
>> RENU BUDHIRAJA: Thank you. I don't have much issues to touch when others have touched on the issues of localisation. Maybe I'll quickly say one major programme that we are doing in the area of women and the National Legal Women's Plan. And in fact, as we all have discussed and we find that the true benefit a citizen gets is when the services are given in the local language.
So it becomes extremely important for us, in the legal slant to ensure that the contents and the services are delivered to the citizen in the respective language.
So with that, let me touch the perspective. As far as the localisation of these services are concerned, standardization is an important area because if you see governance right inputting from storage to render and display, you need a set of standards in place to be able to have that application or service distributed in multiple languages.
So we have actually standardized one of the courses. We will now also notified the storage standards where we very clearly said that unicode is going to be the correct standard and all legal applications across the country, whether it is at the centre or the states will have to adhere to that.
Apart from that, we also standardized and notified the open font format. As Dr. Govind said, we do have a lot of open font formats which are freely available for use by various eGovernance applications.
The third standard shortly that will be available is on the lay out which Pranesh mentioned. The keyboard lay out is an important area. In our case if you have 22 languages and if I am able to standardize the layout, then the same person is in a position to type in multiple languages. We are trying to keep these same position for the character in various languages. That is going to help us not only in terms of inputting. It is also going to help us in having master development of the keyboards.
So that is another standard.
Another important area where we are going to be starting work is on the lexicon. What is important is to have a complete lexicon of the various vocabulary, the words take will be used as in the various eGovernance applications and build a dictionary on that.
That is a very critical area where there is a lot of work which is required.
On the next front, of course, as part of the national eGovernance plan we have identified what we call the various content service providers, small organisations which are helping the centre and the states to develop contents and digitize contents in the respective languages. And lastly I wanted to mention that we now have W3C in India also and we are trying to work with them in the language areas so the various standardization issues can be taken up with them and we have national inputs to be taken forward.
So these are some of my comments I thought I would share. Thank you so much, Osama.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you very much. Is there any intervention from the audience any more? Or we go around asking quick two points from each one of you and have them recorded as recommendations.
I will start with Ang Peng Hwa.
>> ANG PENG HWA: I have put forward, I appreciate, of course, Deepak's point about the use of software and sending people e mails in your own language.
My own two sense is that we should look at someone's best practices do some of this research so we minimize the costs of some of these developments.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Ang Peng Wa wants proper research. If done should be shared properly so the replication can take place and the cost of installation or re usage of the same thing should be minimized.
And if not, then we should do enough research to find out to have enough learning in each areas.
His Excellency? You'll sum up?
Okay. Mr. Ravi Shanker?
>> RAVI SHANKER: Going through the various Panelists and their viewpoints, I have tried to put together what would be the recommendations that have sort of come to the floor. There was mention about access to information as a right. So when he did mention access to information as a right, I subdivided that into two components. Access to device itself as an instrumentality. It touches upon one of the core ideas of the access. Access to access is an important driver.
And the second, the access to information is the relevant information. So it is access to content in your local language which is which is again touching upon a core of the idea. So we have to focus on the two main ideas of the IGF, access, access to information in the right in the sense of device availability and content availability.
The second component I thought I would try to focus upon is technology enablement in itself. Because technology is transformation element. And it is a simplification and it is enablement, leads to empowerment.
I think technology development in local languages is something I would definitely harp upon. Where technologists and linguistic experts have to converge for the benefits of the mass public at large.
The third aspect which I would like to dwell upon is standards as a process. We need standardization, whether it is unicode or any of the other technological standard.
I think to focus upon standards as a process is very much needed. Last but not least, as the professor mentioned, best practice is sharing. So we need not keep on reinventing the wheel. We need to have a documentation on the best practices and these ought to be shared. Since we live in an Internet world, they need to be archived and kept.
If the best practices could be translated, then it is available across to everyone in different languages.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you, Mr. Ravi Shanker. Shahzad, your five cents?
>> SHAHZAD AHMAD: Maybe two cents only.
I really wish that if I could demand broadband access as is in Finland or Estonia or other beautiful countries, I really would want to say that provision of affordable access which allows you to do meaningful work on the Internet is extremely important. Then friendly policies that support creativity and innovation.
Another thing, please maintain egalitarian nature of the Internet. Don't block it. Don't mess with it. Don't create havoc with it for your political gains which often keeps happening in various countries in our part of the world.
The rest will happen. Thank you.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you, Shahzad. Dr. Govind?
>> GOVIND GOVIND: For the general recommendations have been given by Mr. Ravi Shanker. I would develop two specific recommendations. Any document proud in the Government should be available in the local languages also.
It should be mandatory. It should not be left to the it will be done in future time or something like that.
Second is the products, PCs and mobiles which are supplied by the multinationals in the country should be available in bilingual or multilingual, should be available in local scripts.
There should be massive investment in local content as it is developed in the University of Limerick. We have to make a concerted effort with all stakeholders and the Government also to give a boost to the content development, a good bit, enthusiastic promotion of doesn't development by any means.
And fourth is the Wikipedia which is available right now in English and many other international languages should be seen that these are steps started to make it in the local languages.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you. I think you have already given your recommendation, Ang Peng Hwa. Any other points?
>> DEEPAK MAHESHWARI: Wikipedia is available in Hindi and some of the other local languages.
The fact is, if you look not just by the population in the cities in India, but even if you look at the number of people who are using the Internet and what is their local language. The fact is none of the languages find the space in top 20 on the Internet. That shows the kind of linguistic divide we have on the Internet. That is something which need to be closed fast and at a much rapid pace. That's one thing. Yes, keyboards are important, but going forward what is going to happen is that a lot more innovation will happen if we are using the soft keyboards and other types of things and types of tools, people will be in a position to avail themselves of these things much faster.
While it is important for the people to look at development content, et cetera, we should also look at issues related to security around the which are not, because of the local languages as such, but it is just that each language has its own certain characteristics and considering those while looking at how you look at your security framework, that is one area that people should look into.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: Thank you, Deepak from Microsoft. Now, lastly. I would request His Excellency to give the final wrap up recommendations and close it and we have already 4:30. People are dying to go to the main hall, the plenary session. So let's be quick.
>> HASANUL HAQ INU: Thank you very much. Mr. Ravi Shanker summarized everything for me. Thank you very much.
And the other proposals which have been recommended. These are perfect. Let me thank you first and as I was listening to everybody, Pranesh, professor Ang Peng Wa, and then Renu and Esmaeil, Deepak, Carlos, all have come up with idea which are most similar. Actually we are in the same boat. As you know, the boat is the symbol of our world at this time. We are in the same boat. Even now listening to the Latin American friends, even Ireland, Europe, the local language application is still a problem.
So this is a problem not only for the developing country. It is a problem for the developed society also.
So we both can shake hands to tackle this problem.
The recommendations I repeat the recommendations of professor Ang said best practices is to be replicated and invest in research to minimize the cost and Mr. Ravi Shanker said access to information is a right and as such access to the device at an affordable price. Access to content. And for that technology enablement is also required and standardization is a process that is as Renu and Ravi Shanker repeated and Shahzad said portability. He said there should be a policy intervention, as I remember. So that is very important. That comes to the role of the Government, policy makers. And in developing society I think everything cannot be left to the market forces. The Government needs to come and intervene. So Dr. Govind said yes, the application is very important. In the Government, online services in the local language automatically the content is developed. So all the Government documents, all the Government online services, agriculture, health, education, everything should be in the local language.
And all the multinationals who are in the production area in every country should have local language content. That is okay.
So investment in the content, that is very important. Research in and investment. These are the points and as said, it is very important that the people should not be passive, as Deepak said. They should be active producers also.
That is how an interactive situation can be developed. So let me conclude like that. Access to technology without content is barren. So you can have mobile, but without content you can talk, chat and you don't have, you cannot have value. I am a politician, as you know. And Professor Ang said touch the pocket, touch the heart. It is very important. One poet in my country he said in Banglu. (Foreign phrase.)
Head and heart. These sentences said if you want to move the masses, then it is not that you only touch the head by intellect. You need to tell the heart also.
So I think I repeat, you need to tell the pocket and heart also.
There are many ways. I don't want to go to in details.
But as you know, I am a politician. Politicians think of the next election.
And here coming up with proposals for these will take many years. In my country we have set a deadline of 2021, but by that time, he needs to compete in the elections. We are thinking of the next elections, but the world is, your country, my country is only in the midst of ICT revolution, caught between the forces of globalisation and regionalism. It is a very complex situation. So here, women, the politicians will be here, but we think of those who think of the next generations. Philosophers think of the next Millennium. When the world is here for the ICT revolution, we need the combination of three, politicians?
Philosophers and technicians. We all need to come together and the technocrats come to only together. We should all work together, the politician becomes a philosopher and technician at the same time. I need to win the election next time, so we need the combination of the four to tackle this situation and for that we need to have, I repeat, the words of Dr. Mr. Ravi Shanker. Last I say act locally, think globally, but move intelligently to touch the pocket and heart. Ensure affordability and accessibility with content. Thank you very much.
>> OSAMA MANZAR: We have a few recommendations I want to put on the card. I thank you, His Excellency Hasanul Haq Inu from Bangladesh we have we have people who say that IGF itself is language challenged. She is Emily Bouchie. I registered on the site in my local language. They never made it to the mainstream tweets. That's very interesting observation.
The second is from hub, Armenia. And she wants to say yeah, we are lacking a global report on the usage of different scripts in Internet. So there is a need to conduct such kind of research. That's her recommendation Ang Peng you need to look at this.
Last but not least, our friend Reinhard is saying there are many recommendations available. Review what is there. Check out the applicability, and start filling the gaps by a coordinated globally shared and open effort.
In those note, I must also tell you that digital empowerment foundation has been running several awards for last seven years. We have a collection of 2,000 best practices from South Asia and in various categories. They all are online, if not all, they are online.
Many times it happens that there are best practices available, but we don't correlate them, we do not replicate them, we do not see them who are doing what. We ourselves do that research and try to compare them. So there are a lot of online repositories of best practices. We need to look at them as well or maybe we can have one portal which can really link to all the best practices.
Thank you very much. I think the only region we didn't have a substantial participation was from the Arab world, but otherwise more or less we covered the entire region of the world and since it is all being transcripted, it will be easy for us to make a report and I promise to send all this report to everybody who participated in here. Thank you very much for your participation, active participation and very, very high level recommended participation. Thank you very much to all of you.
>>: I think I will try to thank Osama for excellently conducting this panel.
>>: And all the hard work he has put into this meeting.
(The session concluded at 0840 Central Time.)