The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is among the key global Internet governance institutions responsible for the co-ordination and management of the domain name system (DNS). ICANN is the exemplar of the multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. India’s engagement with ICANN is noteworthy as it was at the ICANN53 meeting in 2015 that India announced its support for the multi-stakeholder approach in Internet governance. Until then, India was considered as a swing state with divergent views on the multilateral and multi-stakeholder approaches to global internet governance. ICANN57 was held in Hyderabad, India, in November 2016, marking an important milestone in the transfer of oversight to the ‘global multi-stakeholder community’ and presents an important opportunity for greater influence and leadership by developing countries like India, and their stakeholders.

Through this programme, ICRIER aims to enable meaningful and sustained engagement of Indian stakeholders with ICANN through research support for India’s representation in the Governmental Advisory Committee of ICANN, and in facilitating greater multi-stakeholder engagement on ICANN related issues. Over the three-year duration of the project, ICRIER will help update and contextualise various stakeholder positions to bring out Indian perspectives and crystallise the issues to be raised by Indian stakeholders in various multi-stakeholder processes; develop capacity and build the expertise of Indian stakeholders on ICANN related internet governance issues.