|Founded||July 23, 2000|
|Focus||Information Technology, Tamil language |
|Origins||Established during Tamil Internet 2000 Conference in Singapore|
|Method||Conferences, Publications, Government and Industry liaison|
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.
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.
|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|
|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
|Suntec Convention Centre, Singapore||Tamil Internet Steering Committee, Institute of Policy Studies, NUS||Birth of INFITT|
|4||Tamil Internet Conference 2001||26–28
|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
|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
|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
|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
|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 –
|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
|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
|Coimbatore, India||Tamilnadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, India||Intelligent Search Engines for Tamil|
|20-22 September||Chennai, India||Anna University, Chennai, India||Tamil Robotics and Language Processing|
|11-13 December||Colombo, Sri Lanka||Moratuwa University, Sri Lanka||Virtual Conference|
|2-5 December||Tamilnadu, India||Bharathiar University, Coimbatore Tamil Nadu & University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India with CIIL& CIT||Virtual Conference|
|15-17 December||Thanjavur,India||Tamil University & Periyar Maniammai Institute of Science & Technology||Tamil in Industry 5.0|
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.
|WG01||Tamil Glossary of Technical Terms||Inactive|
|WG03||Tamil Internet Domain Names||Inactive|
|WG04||Tamil 8-bit Glyph Encoding||Closed|
|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.
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 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.
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, and worked to develop the Unicode standard in Tamil language.
International Telecommunication Union
Internet Engineering Task Force
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
Internationalized domain name
United Nations Commission on International Trade Law
The Web Conference
Puducherry Technological University
Computer Society of India
A. G. Ramakrishnan
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