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TAMILS & THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION

Tamil Internet Forum in Tamil Nadu

Minutes of the Meeting held on 8 April 2000
at  Umapathy Arangam, Anand Theatre Complex,
Mount Road, Chennai
to discuss the formation of an Internet Forum in India

The meeting started with an Introduction by Dr. M. Anandakrishnan, who outlined the background to this meeting. Around 40 people from various fields (academic/ industry/ government) attended the meeting. An hour-long presentation about various International organisations involved in Internet Governance was given by Ms. Y J Park, (i-DNS.net, Singapore).

She explained the Origin and Functions of agencies such as IETF, IANA, ICANN, PNG, APNIC, APRICOT, APTLD, etc. and brought out the importance of participation in these bodies to take care of national and regional interests. She noted with regret that two huge nations, India and China, were practically not seen in any of these fora, and expressed the hope that the proposed forum would ensure greater participation from India in all International fora related to Internet Governance.

A number of participants spoke in the meeting, highlighting the various aspects of the Internet scene in India. Some of the issues highlighted were:

* The very limited access to Internet in India, quantity as well as quality-wise.

* The problems associated with registering Domain Names, including its cost.

* Absence of adequate tools and technologies for Indian Language use on the Net, including standardisation at various levels.

* High cost of International Bandwidth

* Inadequate awareness of global developments in this domain, which threatens to leave India far behind in this strategic race.

* The need to be present in various international fora, and put forward India's views and requirements to ensure that our national interests are fully taken care of.

After a detailed deliberation of these issues, the following was agreed upon:

* A National Forum with full representation from all regions as well as sections should be formed.

* This would be an Independent Forum where opinions on all important aspects would be freely discussed and debated to aid in the formulation and implementation of correct plans and policies at all levels--bringing out all dimensions involved in an issue.

* This forum would systematically follow all the global developments that are likely to have a bearing on our country, and propose appropriate responses to ensure that our national interests are properly taken care of. This is especially true in critical areas such as availability of domain names for our present as well as future needs, etc.

* The Forum would ensure India's participation in all important international meetings and deliberations related to Internet Governance.

* The forum would mobilise support for all measures needed to strengthen Internet in our country, especially initiatives being taken by small entrepreneurs, scholars, etc.

It was realised that formation of such a body would take time, and September 2000 was proposed as a likely date for its formal launch. To take matters forward in the meantime, it was decided to form an Ad-hoc Committee,whose tasks would be as follows:

* To create awareness about the need for the proposed forum, and to mobilise support for it. To achieve this, national & local seminars will be conducted by experts, covering all aspects of the issue. Volunteers from user groups like linux-india (www.linux-india.org), Indian linux user group - Chennai (ILUGC: www.chennailug.org), CSI, IEEE & IEE students chapters etc. could be mobilised for this.

* To make a survey about the role of important organisations involved in Internet like IETF, ICANN, APNG etc.., We need volunteers to survey each of such organisations and suggest in which of these the proposed forum can join as a member & actively participate to represent our points of view.

* To prepare and maintain a mailing list of all concerned and interested individuals, groups and organisations, and facilitate interaction amongst them

* To create a Website to announce important decisions, post meeting schedules and minutes of the meetings etc, to announce forth-coming events etc.

* To help some of the volunteers join the mailing list of important organisation like IETF, ICANN etc. to monitor & actively participate in their discussion and report a summary to other members of our forum.

* To explore ways by which some of the members of this (ad-hoc) forum may attend the forthcoming International conferences like APRICOT, INET-2000 etc. and share the views and decisions to other members of our forum.

* To evolve an Indian Forum for Internet and formulate its objectives, administrative structure hierarchy, rules and regulations, etc.

The following composition of the ad-hoc committee was agreed upon to undertake further steps towards the establishment of this National Forum:

Ad-hoc Committee

1. Dr. M AnandaKrishnan, Vice Chairman, Tamil Nadu State Council For Higher Education, Lady Willingdon College Campus, Kamarajar Salai, Chennai 600 005. Ph# Off: 8470961 Res: 4916291 Fax# Off: 044-8546186 Res: 4417042 Email: ananda@eth.net & ananda@md2.vsnl.net.in

2.     M Anto Peter, Softview Computers, 118, Nelson manickam Road, Chennai 600 029. Ph# 91-44-3742471 Email: svc@giasmd01.vsnl.net.in

3.    Dr. P Chandra Bose, Makkal Solutions 2000, 328/10, TTK Road, Chennai 600 014. Ph# 44-8222233, 9841073388 Email: cbose@vsnl.com

4.     P Chellappan, Palaniappa Bros., 14, Peters Road, Chennai 600 014. Ph# 044-8268035 Email: chellappan@vsnl.com

5.     A Elangovan, Chief Executive, CADGRAF Computers, 2, Wheatcrofts Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600 034. Ph# 44-8238918, 9841023223 Email: elango@cadgraf.com

6.     Dr. C N Krishnan, The AU-KBC Centre for Internet & Telecom Technologies, MIT Campus, Anna University, Chromepet, Chennai 600 044. Ph#     (O) 44-2402711     (R) 44-4417091 Email:cnkrish@vsnl.com cnkrish@au-kbc.org

7.     K S Lakshminarayanan, General Manager, Chief Technical Advisor, ELCOT, Chennai. Ph# 91-44-4320178 Email: elcot@vsnl.com kslchn@yahoo.com

8.     H R Mohan, Chief System Manager, The Hindu, Chennai 600 002. Ph# 44-8413344 (O), 44-4332179 (R) Email: hrmohan@vsnl.com

9.     Eur. Ing. R Murugesan, Dy. General Manager (Systems), TNPL     Ph# 44-2350813, 44-3762642 (Res.) Email: murugesanr@yahoo.com

10.    Dr. V Nagarajan, Prof. & Head, Dept. of Adult & Cont. Education, University of Madras, Chennai. Ph# 44-5389159 Email: adulteducation@vsnl.com

11.    M K Saravanan, Design Engineer, The AU-KBC Centre for Internet & Telecom Technologies, Madras Institute of Technology, Anna University, Chromepet, Chennai 600 044. Ph & FAX (Off): 44-2402711 Email: mksarav@mitindia.edu

12.    S Senthil Nathan, Director, thamizh.com Private Ltd., 101/1, Ground Floor, Kanakasri nagar, Cathedral Road, Chennai 600 086. Ph# 44-8263779 Email: admin@thamizh.com

13.     M Thulukkanam, Director, LASTECH Systems Pvt. Ltd., 22, Wallajah Road, Chennai 600 002. Ph# 44-8531093 Email: info@lastech.com

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