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INFITT

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INFITT
FoundedJuly 23, 2000
TypeInternational Organization
FocusInformation Technology, Tamil language [1]
HeadquartersCalifornia ,USA
OriginsEstablished during Tamil Internet 2000 Conference in Singapore
Area served
Worldwide
MethodConferences, Publications, Government and Industry liaison
Chairman
Thangarajah Thavaruban
Websitewww.infitt.org

The International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil (INFITT, read In-Fit; Tamil: உலகத் தமிழ் தகவல் தொழில்நுட்ப மன்றம் (உத்தமம்)) is a non-profit, non-governmental nodal organization for collaboration among professionals, enthusiasts, government entities, and other international organizations working in the development and standardization of information technology for Tamil language. It has active liaison and collaboration with government entities in India, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia, and industry bodies like Unicode Consortium.

INFITT conducts regular technical conferences related to Tamil computing, which attract active participation from international researchers and professionals. These Tamil Internet Conferences (aka TIC) are conducted in Tamil speaking countries like India, Singapore and Malaysia, or international institutions that pioneer in Tamil research. Past conferences have been organized in association with governments of Tamil Nadu and Malaysia, and universities of Singapore, California, Pennsylvania and Cologne.

Discover more about INFITT related topics

Tamil language

Tamil language

Tamil is a Dravidian language natively spoken by the Tamil people of South Asia. Tamil is an official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the sovereign nations of Sri Lanka and Singapore, and the Indian territory of Puducherry. Tamil is also spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is also spoken by the Tamil diaspora found in many countries, including Malaysia, Myanmar, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and Mauritius. Tamil is also natively spoken by Sri Lankan Moors. One of 22 scheduled languages in the Constitution of India, Tamil was the first to be classified as a classical language of India.

Unicode Consortium

Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated and based in Mountain View, California. Its primary purpose is to maintain and publish the Unicode Standard which was developed with the intention of replacing existing character encoding schemes which are limited in size and scope, and are incompatible with multilingual environments. The consortium describes its overall purpose as:...enabl[ing] people around the world to use computers in any language, by providing freely-available specifications and data to form the foundation for software internationalization in all major operating systems, search engines, applications, and the World Wide Web. An essential part of this purpose is to standardize, maintain, educate and engage academic and scientific communities, and the general public about, make publicly available, promote, and disseminate to the public a standard character encoding that provides for an allocation for more than a million characters.

Government of Tamil Nadu

Government of Tamil Nadu

Government of Tamil Nadu is the governing authority for the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is seated at Fort St George, Chennai. The legislature of Tamil Nadu was bicameral until 1986, when it was replaced by a unicameral legislature, like most other states in India.

Government of Malaysia

Government of Malaysia

The Government of Malaysia, officially the Federal Government of Malaysia, is based in the Federal Territory of Putrajaya with the exception of the legislative branch, which is located in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is a federation comprising the 11 States of Malaya, the Borneo States of Sabah and Sarawak, and 3 Federal Territories operating within a constitutional monarchy under the Westminster system and is categorised as a representative democracy. The federal government of Malaysia adheres to and is created by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, the supreme law of the land.

National University of Singapore

National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a national research university in Singapore. Founded in 1905 as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School, NUS is the oldest autonomous university in the country. It offers degree programmes in a wide range of disciplines at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including in the sciences, medicine and dentistry, design and environment, law, arts and social sciences, engineering, business, computing, and music.

University of California, Berkeley

University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley is a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the University of California, it is the state's first land-grant university and the founding campus of the University of California system. Its fourteen colleges and schools offer over 350 degree programs and enroll some 31,800 undergraduate and 13,200 graduate students. Berkeley ranks among the world's top universities.

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia. While the university dates its founding to 1740, it was created by Benjamin Franklin and leading Philadelphia citizens in 1749. It is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and is ranked among the highest-regarded universities by numerous organizations and scholars.

University of Cologne

University of Cologne

The University of Cologne is a university in Cologne, Germany. It was established in the year 1388 and is one of the most prestigious and research intensive universities in Germany. It was the sixth university to be established in Central Europe. It closed in 1798 before being re-established in 1919. It is now one of the largest universities in Germany with more than 48,000 students. The University of Cologne was a university of excellence as part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative from 2012 to 2019. As of 2021, 3 Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with the university.

History

There had been active interaction between various technology professionals and Tamil scholars over the internet well before the creation of INFITT. Some of this collaboration was in standardizing a keyboard layout more suited for computers, and defining an 8-bit encoding scheme to work on then current operating systems which didn't yet support Unicode. International technical workshops and conferences were already being conducted regularly, with patronage from government or universities. The idea of a formal international entity was mooted in private communications among key members preparing for Tamil Internet 2000 Conference and a constitution was drafted. Establishment of the organization was announced during that conference with the participants of the conference forming the initial general body.

Tamil Internet Conferences

Tamil Internet Conferences bring together scholars and researchers working in Tamil Information Technology from across the world for active discussion and learning. The main aspect of the conferences are the technical section with paper presentations and group discussions. Some conferences held in locations with significant Tamil population may also have two additional sections, namely, Public Gallery (மக்கள் அரங்கம்), and Exhibition. Typically, participation in technical conferences only would require paid registration.

The gallery is used for showcasing recent developments in technology. Educational sessions and booths help the visiting public in enabling Tamil in their devices, and learn about job and business opportunities in Tamil computing.

The table below lists 3 precursor events conducted before the formation of INFITT, in the years 1997, 1999 and 2000. INFITT was established during the conference in 2000, held in Singapore.

Conf. № Name Dates Location Co-Host Theme Comment
1 TamilNet'97 17–18

May

National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore NUS and National Institute of Education of Nanyang Technological University International Symposium for Tamil Information Processing and Resources on the Internet Before formation of INFITT
2 TamilNet'99 7–8

February

Image Auditorium, Chennai, Tamil Nadu Government of Tamil Nadu Keyboard and 8-bit Encoding standardizations Before formation of INFITT
3 Tamil Internet 2000 22–24

July

Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore Tamil Internet Steering Committee, Institute of Policy Studies, NUS Birth of INFITT
4 Tamil Internet Conference 2001 26–28

August

Putra World Trade Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Malaysian Indian Congress Pathways to Progress Birth of Tamil Heritage Foundation
5 Tamil Internet Conference 2002 27–29 September San Francisco Bay Area, USA Center for South Asia Studies and Chair for Tamil Studies, University of California, Berkeley Bridging the Digital Divide
6 Tamil Internet Conference 2003 22–24

August

Chennai, India Anna University & Tamil Virtual University IT for Education in Tamil
7 Tamil Internet Conference 2004 11–12 December NUS, Singapore Institute of Policy Studies Technical conference only
8 Tamil Internet Conference 2009 23–25 October University of Cologne, Germany Institute of Indology and Tamil Studies கணிவழி காண்போம் தமிழ்
9 Tamil Internet Conference 2010 23–27

June

CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex, Coimbatore, India Government of Tamil Nadu இணையம் வளர்க்கும் தமிழ் Co-organized with World Classical Tamil Conference
10 Tamil Internet Conference 2011 17–19

June

Philadelphia, USA University of Pennsylvania
11 Tamil Internet Conference 2012 28–30 December Chidambaram, India Annamalai University Tamil Computing for Mobiles and Tablets
12 Tamil Internet Conference 2013 15–18

August

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia University of Malaya Tamil Computing for Mobile Devices
13 Tamil Internet Conference 2014 19–21 September Pondicherry, India University of Pondicherry Natural Language Processing
14 Tamil Internet Conference 2015 30 May –

1 June

Singapore SIM University Natural Language Processing and Mobile Computing
15 Tamil Internet Conference 2016 9-11 September Dindigul, India Gandhigram Rural Institute Tamil Computing
16 Tamil Internet Conference 2017 25-27

August

Toronto, Canada University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus Deep Learning and Data Science Co-sponsored by University of Waterloo Centre for Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence
17 Tamil Internet Conference 2018 6-8

July

Coimbatore, India Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India Intelligent Search Engines for Tamil
18 Tamil Internet

Conference

2019

20-22 September Chennai, India Anna University, Chennai, India Tamil Robotics and Language Processing
19 Tamil Internet

Conference (Virtual)

2020

11-13 December Colombo, Sri Lanka Moratuwa University, Sri Lanka Virtual Conference
20 Tamil Internet

Conference (Virtual)

2021

2-5 December Tamilnadu, India Bharathiar University, Coimbatore Tamil Nadu & University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India with CIIL& CIT Virtual Conference
21 Tamil Internet

Conference 2022

15-17 December Thanjavur,India Tamil University & Periyar Maniammai Institute of Science & Technology Tamil in Industry 5.0

Working Groups

Working groups are the primary mode of coordination for technical discussion within INFITT. Some of the working groups may be time bound and might close on completion of their objective, while others continue to function to facilitate ongoing discussions and developments. There were a total of 8 working groups formed so far in INFITT.[2]

Name Started Status
WG01 Tamil Glossary of Technical Terms Inactive
WG02 Tamil Unicode Active
WG03 Tamil Internet Domain Names Inactive
WG04 Tamil 8-bit Glyph Encoding Closed
WG05 Tamil Transliteration Inactive
WG06 Tamil OCR Inactive
WG07 Tamil Linux Inactive
WG08 TUNE (Alternate 16 bit encoding) Closed

Events & workshops

INFITT organizes educational workshops focused to specific target audience. These workshops range from basic training in using computers in Tamil language, to advanced workshops on research topics. These are often organized in coordination with colleges and universities.

Organizational structure

INFITT are governed by the 9-member executive committee (EC) which takes all major decisions. It is headed by a chair who holds the office for a one-year term, who is assisted by a vice chair, executive director and a treasurer. The EC is elected to hold office for a two-year term by the general council.

The general council consists of 54 elected members. Members of GC are elected by the general body every two years. GC has proportional representation for regions and countries with significant Tamil population. The general body consists of all registered members of the organization.

INFITT also has regional chapters for handling activities in specific regions. Currently there are two active regional chapters in India and Malaysia. There are also student chapters within major universities.

Membership

Membership of INFITT is open to individuals and organizations. Membership doesn't have any restrictions other than to abide by the rules of the organization and payment of annual membership fee.

Registered students may become members without paying any registration fee. Student members will enjoy similar benefit as regular members except the voting rights in General Council elections.

Collaborations

INFITT regularly collaborates with various industry organizations and government bodies in setting standards, facilitating development and promoting usage. INFITT is a liaison member of Unicode Consortium,[3] and worked to develop the Unicode standard in Tamil language.

Source: "INFITT", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, November 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INFITT.

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References
  1. ^ "INFITT Objectives". INFITT. January 1, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2014.
  2. ^ "Workgroups – உத்தமம் | INFITT".
  3. ^ Liaison members of Unicode Consortium
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