In a push to make the internet accessible to everyone in India, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced that domain names will soon be available in several languages spoken in the country.
What this means for internet users in the country is that they will be able to book a website name extension like .com, .in, .net, in Indian scripts like Devanagari, Bengali, Gujrati and more. According to Zinnov, the domain name registration count in India crossed 5 million milestone in 2017.
“Work is on for nine Indian scripts – Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu. These scripts are expected to cover many different local languages,” said Samiran Gupta, Head of ICANN India.
The nine Indian scripts mentioned by ICANN will make the domain names available in around 22 local languages. The aim of domain names in Indian languages is to enable the people with no English language knowledge to go online and access the websites.
Mr. Gupta said that around 52% of the global population have access to internet, while many of the remaining 48% are non-English speaking people who can’t type in English. The initiative to make domain names available in local Indian languages will help more people use the internet.
Although people are currently able to register .bharat top-level domain (TLD) in Devanagari script, the internet servers can identify only the limited letters. ICANN has formed Neo-Brahmi script Generation Panel (NBGP) to develop Root Zone Label Generation Rules (RZ-LGR).
The NBGP is a team of over 60 technical experts and linguistics from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Singapore. The RZ-LGR developed by this team will enable people from all over the world to register domain names in local Indian scripts.
Mr. Gupta further added that there are 4.2 billion internet users worldwide, which is expected to grow to 5 billion by 2022.