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Three Indians appointed by UN Secretary General on advisory group for next Internet Governance Forum


Three Indians have been appointed as members to the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) for 2021 of the United Nations'(UN) Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The appointees are Amrita Choudhury, director of the Cyber Cafe Association of India and the Internet Society (ISOC) India Delhi Chapter, Rajesh Chharia, president of the Internet Service Providers Association and T Santosh, Scientist E at the Human Resource Development division of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology.

The list of MAG-2021 apppointees was announced by UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the conclusion of the  latest IGF. “The main task of the Advisory Group is to provide advice on the preparations for the sixteenth meeting of the Internet Governance Forum in 2021, to be hosted by the Government of Poland,” the UN said in a statement.

As a past IGF host country, India was entitled to name a member to the committee. Therefore, it designated Santosh as a representative to the advisory group.

This is the most representation India has had at an MAG since 2015, when four members were from the country, which included Ankhi Das, the former India policy head at Facebook. Other than India, Nepal is the only South Asian country represented in the 2021 MAG, through Raj Ananda Khanal, senior Director at the Nepal Telecommunications Authority.

Anriette Esterhuysen, senior advisor on internet governance, policy advocacy and strategic planning at the Association for Progressive Communications, was appointed as the chair of the group.

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Update (November 20): The Internet Governance Forum updated the list of MAG members after this article’s publication; the representative from the Indian government entitled to be a member of the group is now T. Santosh. We have updated the post to reflect this change.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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