“.bharat” domain name launched

The Indian Government today launched the “.bharat” domain name in Devanagari script covering eight languages including Hindi, Konkani and Marathi. With the launch, individuals of companies who are interested in owning a website with domain name in Hindi language would be able to book the name in Hindi script.

The name would have ‘.bharat’ in Hindi script as its extension instead of commonly top level domains such as .com, .net or .in.

This initiative should not stop at eight languages. I asked the department to make .Bharat domain name available in all the Indian languages very soon

, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) will soon also launch the Internationalised Domain Name ( IDN) in other Indian languages like Bangla, Urdu, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil and Gujarati.

“We will connect 60,000 villages with broadband this year, 1 lakh next year and another 1 lakh in the following year through the National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN),” he added.

The project is worth around Rs 35,000 crore which aims to provide high-speed broadband connectivity to 2.50 lac gram panchayats in India by March 2017.

The minister said that e-commerce is going to bring in revolutionary changes in the economic activities of rural India. It will not only generate new jobs but also create large number of business opportunities for all sections of populations in rural India.

Prasad said as Internet will reach villages, the people there will go online to shop for things, which in turn will lead to expansion of e-commerce and opening up of more warehouses and creation of more jobs.

The Dot Bharat domain name will be a step towards connecting people from all walks of life through e-governance. “People can now log in by typing in Hindi into the sites. So far they had to type in English even if the site had Hindi content,” Govind noted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his maiden Republic Day address from the Red Fort on Friday, said: “E-governance is a way to good governance… There was a time when it was said that railway unites the country. I say today IT has the power to unite the country and its people.”

The idea behind the new URLs is that “language must not be a barrier to use the Internet,” Govind said.

Indian Internet users will surpass those in the US by the end of this year and around 500 million people will be online by 2018, Rajan Anandan, managing director, Google India, said recently. India took 10 years to go from 10 million Internet users to 100 million. Now, five million new Internet users are added every month.

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