Domainnames in Indian languages, will it work?

Yesterday I received an invite to attend a seminar on Indian language domainnames being held in Pune by GIST division of CDAC.

CDAC has developed a technology which will allow you to type domainnames in 22 Indian languages. Currently Latin characters are used to write the domainnames in English and European languages. ICANN, the authority which approves all domainname related issues, has decided to allow domainnames in many non-English languages. ICANN expects to take these domainnames live by mid 2010.

What is the rational behind having non-English domainnames? More than 50% of the current 1.6 billion internet users are more comfortable with non-Latin script (English/European lang).

India is going to see a huge surge in Indian language users on the internet. I have been betting on it for a long time now! has seen encouraging results in this area. Unfortunately very few have realized the potential of Indian languages on the internet simply because we are too urbanized and are of the opinion “aah, these Tier-II and Tier-II folks don’t have enough spending power”. How wrong.

Most probably the suffice (TLD – top level domain) .in will be replaced by .bharat – so the equivalent of in Hindi would be वनइंडिया.भारत

I was informed by an expert that we could have the following options for a domainname,

  • – all English
  • वनइंडिया.in – TLD in English
  • – TLD in Hindi
  • वनइंडिया.भारत – all Hindi

Only time will tell how successful will these domainnames be but it is the good that the foundation is being laid now.

I think this would only add to the confusion and increase cyber-squatting. There is also a proposal to “translate” .com to each of the Indian language. I believe .com should simply be transliterated to each Indian language – so .com in Hindi should be just .कॉम

In many parts of the so called ‘silicon valley of India’ Bangalore we cannot get wired broadband services. The top priority now should be to increase the internet penetration in cities and towns in India. Language publishers will figure it out on their own how to make language a huge success.


  1. It will work, but the thing is its scope will remain only to the people who know to read that particular Indian Language.

    This will help the people in some of the non-urban areas for providing distant education and other information in the language of the locality.

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