Indian Express - Pune Newsline - October 30, 2009
Creating domain names of websites in Devnagri, or for that matter in Gujarati, Telugu or Kannada can soon be a reality. City-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) have undertaken a project wherein URLs with Indian names can now be created and written in Indian languages instead of the regular - English spellings of the phonetics. While the prefix www remains unchanged, the name of the website in regional language can then be followed by the extension - .bharat, instead of usual - .in.
The programme, a result of over three years of work on policy level, was introduced to registrars and language experts at Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA). N Ravi Shankar, joint secretary, DeitY, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, was the chief guest. Tulika Pandey, additional director, E-Infrastructure and Internet Governance Division, DeitY, delivered lecture on the topic - IDN challenges and perspectives.
Having started with Pune, the introductory sessions would now be conducted at Guwahati, Hyderabad and Banglore in the coming three months, post which the project will be made open to government organisation and a few companies on an experimental basis. "The project will be made open to general users by June 2010," said Mahesh Kulkarni, programme coordinator, C-DAC.
"The motive behind the initiative is to attract more number of people to create websites in Indian languages. The entry of Indian languages in content on websites is not new, but creating a website in regional language as the URL in address box is a revolutionary concept, implemented for the first time in the country," added he.
Initially available in 15 Indian languages, including Devnagri languages - Sanskrit, Marathi, Hindi, Konkani, Nepali along with other languages such as Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese, Oriya, Bangla, the project also aims at making available phonetic transliteration for a user-friendly experience. "For instance, if someone types the required words in English on a search engine, the phonetic transliteration tool will list these regional URL websites on the basis of phonetics instead of missing them due to different spelling. We are working on the tool and it will soon be operational," said Kulkarni.
In order to avoid cyber squatting or freezing of websites wherein false users can block the keywords by creating URLs, the organisers plan to come up with a reserve list that can ensure that only authentic users make use of the precise key word for instance, Rashtrapati, Maharashtra Shasan and so on.