YouthIGF India 2019 | A Youth Initiative to Build Internet Governance Awareness

My Experience in YouthIGF India 2019 | Ashwin Reddy

YouthIGF India (YIGF) is an initiative by the youth of India to build awareness and engage youth in Internet Governance. The 2nd edition of YIGF, a UN-recognized meeting of Youth IGF India, took place on 14th November 2019 in Kolkata at St. Xavier’s University. Youth from different parts of the country between the age of 18-30 attended this single-day event to make youth understand Internet governance and an opportunity to voice their opinions in public policy discussions.

“Youth IGF India 2019 Fellows, Participants & Speakers”

Post-APIGA 2019

The Internet has always been very kind to me. I started blogging from the age of 16, establish a business at an early age of 18. It also helped me to clear my Bachelor examinations in Electronics and communication engineering vis-a-vis youtube online classes. Most of my learning, experiences and even mentors from the world of Internet. Being born in the age of Millennials, I feel lucky to be introduced early to the Internet.

After I started learning and got involved in Internet governance for more than one year now, it was high time for me to be more active and contribute towards Internet governance initiatives.

To know more about me & how I started my Journey in Internet Governance, here’s my article on my experience in APIGA 2019 – Click here

After completing my APIGA 2019, I started finding my space on Internet Governance. Also Being in the last year of my Bachelor’s degree, it was high time for me to think about my future career plans. I already had a busy schedule running a Business and going through my Bachelor’s degree. But still, I have not changed my trajectory; Internet governance was also in my daily routine. I have joined the universal acceptance working group, attending calls, and learning about how the policy discussions are being carried on.


During those busy days, Mili Semlani (Founder of Youth4IG) contacted me, briefing me about a youth initiative to educate youth who are interested in Internet governance and also to encourage them to contribute to policy discussions. An effort to make youth mentored by youth mentees for youth to find their space in Internet Governance.

Being still in my 20’s, as a youth, it is challenging to be consistent and find a way in Internet governance, as it takes time to understand, have a long term interest and contribute. I found this initiative very interesting, and we hope to make this very successful.

I was lucky enough to meet Mili Semlani at my first ICANN conference, who mentored me through out ICANN64. As told, I took the initiative to design the logo and the website for Youth4IG. The working group committee is well experienced and has been actively contributing to Internet Governance who are from different parts of the Asia Pacific region.

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YouthIGF India Fellowship Application

As I was looking for my way forward into Internet Governance in my local community, YouthIGF India & inSIG fellowship applications were opened. They announced the dates from 14th November to 17th November. The months of November & December are those two months were every Indian engineering student goes through his/her semester-end exams. The schedule wasn’t out for my examinations yet, but I still wanted to make it to these events.

On the final day of the application, which was 15th September for YouthIGF India fellowship, I was lucky enough to get my schedule, which gave me precisely those four days where I did not have any exam. I could manage to attend these events.

The application had some interesting questions which I had answered, to the best of my knowledge. I was waiting for the day of the results. This time I was confident enough that I would get selected, as compared to the APIGA 2019 fellowship application, where I had zero hopes of being picked up.

YouthIGF India 2019

Day 0 [13th November 2019]

After completing my exam on 13th November, I took a flight from Hyderabad to Kolkata that evening. I contacted Arun Mahendru, who was from Delhi; works at a Cybersecurity forensics lab in New Delhi. As we both had the same arrival time in Kolkata, we shared the cab from the airport to the Hotel. He explained me everything about how Cybersecurity forensics work, how they follow up with cyberthreats and track down cybercriminals. After checking into my room that night, we had a long discussion on the Indian education system with other fellows, which went up to 3 AM in the night — which included lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and economists.

THE YIGF DAY: [14th November 2019]

The day started with a quick breakfast, and we started to the venue. Met my old buddies Sabrina Lim (ICANN Asia Pacific) & Praneet Kaur (APIGA/APNIC Fellow) from APIGA 2019 at the registration desk. Sunny Chendi was also present at the event is not in the photograph; one of my mentors from APIGA 2019.

Welcome note

Amrita Choudhury (ISOC-Delhi), Srinivas (Sunny) Chendi (APNIC), Samiran Gupta (ICANN India), Rajnesh Singh (ISOC, APrIGF)

Introduction to Internet Governance

Multi-stakeholder role play and discussion on “Fake News on the Internet”

Universal Acceptance & Internet Governance

AI and Ethics, Blockchain and Impact on Environment

IG Ecosystem, Organizations and how to involve

IPGo Game – Networking Basics

How to safeguard your Internet usage?

  • Be Aware
  • Click Safe
  • Strong Password
  • Be Careful While Sharing
  • Use Safe Browser
  • Be Careful while using Open Networks (Airports, Food Stalls)
  • Use VPNs

Panel on Privacy and Safeguards status in India challenges for the Youth

Youth in the Internet Governance Domain

The organisers of the YouthIGF India 2019 conducted a session on Youth in the Internet Governance Domain sharing their experiences in Internet Governance. The session was conducted by Ihita Gangavarapu, Shahul Hameed and Praneet Kaur.


The event concluded with a feedback session. Fellows were awarded certificates for their participation.

YouthIGF India 2019 Certificate

My Experience at inSIG 2019 – COMING SOON

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