Internet domain names in Indian languages soon

According to Draft Policy Framework & Implementation Plan, the Centre has laid out the guidelines for IDN in Indian languages to provide for respective linguistic and cultural sensitivities in internet infrastructure. With Internet seen playing dominant role in intergrating all aspects of social and economic endeavour, it said common internet infrastructure to support local languages using respective written scripts for expressing domain names is necessary so that IDNs provide convenient mechanism for users to access web sites in their local language.

Stating that main objectives are to ensure Indian languages have rightful place in IDN and URL in Indian languages, it said, intially URLs will be in major languages/scrips like Assamese, Bangla, Gujarati, Punjabi, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Sanskrit (Laukik), Tamil and Telugu. Later languages using Perso-Arabic script: Urdu, Sindhi, Kashmiri will be dealt and other Brahmi-based languages supported thereafter.

Domain name registrations will begin with IDN in Hindi followed by other Indian languages in a phased manner through three stage launch namely soft, sunrise period and public launch. Soft launch period will be of 60 days followed by 4-8 weeks of review and analysis. For soft launch about 100 government sites would be identified and Hindi domain names made functional by directly entering them into .IN registry database.

Application fee

In sunrise period, trademark owners, registered companies and owners of IP interested in protecting their names online, will be given eight weeks from opening genuine registration as per policy with priority given to Indian interest. To cover marketing and operational costs application fee of Rs 2,000 per application per IDN domain is proposed.

Public launch will be through advertisements and registrations done on first come, first served basis.  Stressing that domain names in Indian languages is effective way to promote Internet among the Indian populace, it said only letters, digits and hypens will be allowed in domain name and names cannot begin/end with hypens; while mixing of two scripts, language numerals, punctuations and symbols/stress markers will not be allowed.

While .gov.in., .mil.in and .ac and .edu.in is exclusively reserved for government, defence and educational institutions respectively, .in IDN registration will be open at three levels similar to ASCII .in domain names. To enable easy user access and registration, .IN registry will make available in each official Indian language on .IN registry website which will get English reserved names translated into Hindi.

A similar exercise will undertaken for IDN in other languages later. Administration fee of Rs 3,000, arbitrator’s fee of Rs 12,000, and personal hearing fee Rs 1,000 per hearing upto a maxium of four, besides Rs 300 as charges to be levied for registrars has been fixed.

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