Finally after some wait Indian Government has launched the .Bharat top level domain name in Devanagari script aimed at catering the people not comfortable with English. Initially 8 languages namely Hindi, Dogri, Bodo, Maithili, Konkani, Marathi, Nepali and Sindhi would be covered. Government is also keen to cover additional regional languages such as Bengali, Telegu, Tamil, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu soon.
Communication and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is quite optimistic about this project and expects to add all the major Indian languages soon. While launching .Bharat domain name he said “This initiative should not stop at eight languages. I asked the department to make .Bharat domain name available in all the Indian languages very soon,”. As of now all the the top level domain names like .com, .net, .org, .biz etc are offered in English only and people with non English background finds it difficult to access internet. .Bharat domain names comes at a very right time when Modi govt. has announced that around 60,000 villages will be connected with high speed broadband by end of this year and another lakh next year and so on.
This domain has been developed by the partnership of National Internet Exchange of India and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing. It is expected that access to internet in regional languages will boost internet usage in rural areas where more than 70% of Indian consumers live. So in a nutshell these consumers will be benefited by increased job opportunities as well as more exposure. It will specifically boost the e-commerce industry as more and more people will go and buy stuff from online stores.
NIXI chief executive Govind stated that, “The dot Bharat initiative was taken up for our non-English speaking people. With this initiative, people can now type the URL in their own languages. This will help people in the villages and remote places. Hence it will help bridge the digital divide. This will also encourage generation of local content.”
Govt. is looking forward to roll out National Optical Fiber Network project with estimated cost of Re. 35,000 crores. National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) aims to connect 2.50 lakh Gram panchayats in India to high speed broadband by March 2017. This initiative will allow rural population to access internet in the language of their choice and with much ease.