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Internet can't be the monopoly of a few: Prasad

'We instinctively value internet to be open, plural and inclusive and access should be without discrimination'

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 

Ravi Shankar Prasad
Ravi Shankar Prasad

The internet is one of the finest creations of the human mind and it can’t be the monopoly of a select few, Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for communications and information technology, said on Monday.

“We value the internet to be open, plural and inclusive, and access should be without discrimination. While fully endorsing the multi-stakeholder model, the issue of security should also remain in focus, where the government has a very important role to play, as safety and security remains the primary responsibility of the government,” said the minister while delivering his speech at a conference of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Morocco.

He noted some people abuse the internet to unleash terror and cyber crime, which needs to be checked.

India has one billion mobile phone connections and 400 million internet subscribers. Also, 980 million Indians have a unique digital identity, known as Aadhaar, which is being used for direct benefit transfer of subsidies and other connected programmes. “The priority is to ensure banking the un-banked, funding the un-funded, securing the unsecured, and pensioning the un-pensioned. Digital infrastructure is the basis for all these game-changing programmes. Innovation and entrepreneurship are also being promoted in a big way,” he said.

ICANN manages the domain name system, or DNS, which helps organise the Internet with the allotment of domain names such as .com, .org, .net and so on. ICANN is in the process of a transition for transfer control of internet governance from the US government to a multi-stakeholder model.

“To be truly global, internet must have the linkage with the local. Local language and the local content must also get adequate manifestation on this medium. Diversity of the representation should be ensured in the new architecture because developing and emerging economies are going to contribute the next billion internet users ,” Prasad said.

First Published: Mon, March 07 2016. 23:58 IST
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