The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has revealed that they will be launching Indian language domain names very soon to bridge the digital divide between English speaking and non-English speaking communities in India. With this launch, ICANN will be introducing domain names across 22 scheduled languages including Bengali, Devanagari, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya etc.
According to ICANN, mobile and internet penetration in India have been jointly responsible for the high usage of web-based services. They say that this usage is not only restricted to metros, where English speaking communities reside, but also across local communities where English is not the main language.
ICANN believe that the non-English speaking community in India is large in number and it is of utmost necessity to tap this audience and provide them access to the world wide web in their own language. To make this possible, ICANN say that they will be providing domain names across 9 Indian scripts covering 22 different spoken languages.
Speaking about this in detail, Samiran Gupta, Head of ICANN, India, commented:
Work is on for nine Indian scripts – Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu. These scripts are expected to cover many different local languages. About 52 per cent of the world population have access to Internet now and ICANN is contributing towards bridging the digital divide.
ICANN claim that at the moment, their efforts are focused towards enabling domain names in regional languages, which in turn would enable Google’s system to publish local language content being searched. In closing, the internet authority said that as of now, they are in the midst of formulating rules for the usage of Indian language domain names.