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Old 3rd May 2010, 11:08 AM
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Re: India getting in on the Act

Text of article:

Coming Soon: Domain Names In Hindi, Telugu And Other Regional Languages
By Debjit Saha • May 3, 2010

Very soon India will become one of the first countries to have non-English internationalised domain names (IDN) in regional languages such as Hindi, Bangla, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu and Gujarati. If things go well between the department of information technology of India (DIT) and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) you can expect these regional language domain names by early next year. The DIT will submit its proposal by next month to ICANN including IP address space assignments.

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing – C-DAC and the DIT have already evolved a policy document for Internationalised Domain Names in Indian Languages over three years. Initially the domain name will be available to seven Indian languages and the DIT has plans of extending it to all the country’s 22 official languages. In the past, IDNs were available only in Latin Characters which is the script in which English and most other European languages are written.

According to DIT Senior Director, Govind only 10 per cent of the total Indian population knows English and only English speaking population can access the internet. India has 81 million internet users of which only 8.1 million are broadband customers. Availability of Regional Domain names will not only help the masses in sharing information but also help in internet proliferation even in remote corners of India.

However we may have a problem as far as computer keyboards are considered using which users are supposed to enter data like domain names in the web browsers. Most of the computer keyboards that are sold in India have standard English keyboards. So entering the domain names in the regional languages becomes an issues. This is something the Govt. needs to compulsorily address in addition to all the formalities involved in getting the regional domain names approved.
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