Last month, the Indian government asked email service providers to enable users to sign up for addresses in local languages, starting with Hindi. The goal for the Ministry is to ensure that when the Internet reaches out to semi-urban and rural areas, there should be sufficient local-language content and tools.
Rajiv Bansal, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Electronics and IT said :
The Bharat Net project will connect 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats through high-speed Internet in the next few years, and people should be able to utilise it when it reaches them.
Bansal also pointed out that an email address is an essential requirement to be able to access the most basic internet services.
The executives of Google, Microsoft and Rediff who attended the meeting expressed the view that technology allows for email addresses in scripts such as Devanagari. However, they feel that the government should not enforce this and instead take the lead for industry to follow suit.