Internet in Hindi & Regional Languages Soon

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Imagine writing an e-mail in urdu, using urdu script, an urdu e-mail id within an urdu domain and receiving a reply in hindi, with a hindi e-mail id, hindi domain, etc. Due to the various scripts and languages used in India, plus the fact that many of them have very similar characters (22 official languages involving 12 different scripts), development of IDNs of India's .IN domain is being worked on by Afilias in consultation with Government organisations such as, Department of Information Technology, NIXI, CDAC and ICANN. From the Government's side, issues such as maintaining the sovereignty (such as linking domains such as .BHARAT with .IN); elimination of security threats such as cyber terrorism, and of course, access to the internet in regional languages are top priority.

When you type in a URL (currently in English), your computer communicates with the ISP Provider, who in turn communicates with a root name server, which authenticates your IP address and the URL text. The last suffix of the URL is known as a Top Level Domain (TLD). TLDs include extensions such as .gov, .com, .in, .med, .mobi and .org.

Due to technical limitations, top level domain (TLD) names can only be registered in ASCII characters. International characters such as those written in Hindi (Devnagari-based) cannot be interpreted by the DNS, and therefore cannot reside in a domain name registry as a registered name.

Bi-lingual keyboards, instant messaging or chat or mobile phone text messages (SMS) are some aspects of ICT that have already started moving towards non-English formats. However, in the case of e-mails, specialised setups are required. Also, while the text may contain native language characters, the e-mail addresses themselves are not.

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