Recognizing that language is a barrier in attracting new internet users, the government of India will provide complimentary ‘.bharat’ domain name available for one year on the purchase of ‘.in’, in order to create an ecosystem for various modes of communication – e-mail and website addresses – in Indian scripts.
The web address with ‘.in’ domain name is being sold across the country at starting price of Rs. 199 for the first year, which can be refilled subsequently for prices opening at Rs. 550. However, the domain ‘.bharat’ (in Devanagari script) is being sold only by a few companies registered with NIXI.
National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) CEO Rajiv Bansal said “We have written to registrar for providing one-year complimentary web address with ‘.bharat’ (available in Devanagari and other Indian scripts) when a person registers an ‘.in’ website.
The Department of Electronics and IT (DEIT) had called a meeting of e-mail service providers to make provision for e-mail addresses in Hindi and other Indian languages. DeitY officials have also discussed providing search support when a text is typed in an Indian language script. However, the companies said they can provide an e-mail address in Indian languages only when there is demand.
Google supports transaction from e-mail addresses in Japanese, Mandarin, and some other scripts.
Bansal said, “We have to work on creating e-mail services, online search to enable non-English speaking people conveniently use Internet. We hope that by giving ‘.bharat’ as complimentary web address, it may encourage entities to experiment and develop content in local languages, including e-mail addresses.”
“Most of the next billion that will be impacted by Internet or connect with it will not be English-speaking people,”he further added