Is the future of internet safe in India?

By : |June 17, 2016 0

The future of internet depends on the numbers of stakeholders of India. According to Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), if the stakeholders co-operate with each other, they will be able to bring more regional language users online which will secure the fortune of internet in India, where we have 22 constitutional languages.

However, fixing standards for using languages online is a complex and necessary problem. “The critical part is the technology itself. The fact that India is such a large part of the online user base and the fact that we’re not part of that conversation should worry us. There’s an opportunity for academics, IT companies, and companies which have digital R&D on these subjects. It is imperative that Indian companies get engaged,” said Samiran Gupta, head of India, ICANN.

The growth of the Domain Name System (DNS) for Indian languages is still under way, with a dedicated panel working on developing internationalized domain names (IDNs) and internet standards for different scripts and languages in India.



The panel, which began work in May last year, involves professionals from the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), private sector companies, linguists and policy experts. The panel is working to develop internationalized domain names (IDN), or domain names in local languages- such as “.bharat” in Hindi. This means that a user will be able to read and write “.bharat” in Assamese, Gujarati, Punjabi or Tamil.

Professor Udaya Narayana Singh, chair of the Neo-Brahmi Generation Panel said, “IDNs will help to pave the way for a truly multilingual and accessible internet. IDNs will open up opportunities for the non-English speaking Indian communities to come online. The formation of the Neo-Brahmi Generation Panel is the first step towards a multilingual Internet for India.”

Still, the work of the panel is a complex one. Considering that in addition to the constitutional languages in India, we have 122 languages with over 1,576 mother-tongues, most of which are written in 13 different scripts, with 53 more minor writing systems.

Apart from academics and linguists, the expansion of internet standards also has an important role for the Indian IT industry, which needs a framework at internet governance forums such as ICANN, which helps organize the Internet with the allotment of domain names such, .org and .net.

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