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dot Bharat domain name in Hindi set to be launched on Independence Day; Why wait?

The Department of Information Technology and Electronics (DeitY) will be launching Hindi language domain names on 15th August, on India's Independence Day, reported The Economic Times, citing Dr Govind, the CEO of the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). It will begin with the .Bharat domain name in Devanagari script. The government will enable Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs) representation in Hindi before that. Apparently, the Prime Minister's website, currently accessible through pmindia.nic.in, will be also be accessible by typing Hindi Devanagari characters for Pradhanmantri.Bharat. At present, most online content is in English. Even in case of websites that do offer content in Indic languages the domain names are in English. Internet penetration via mobile is steadily increasing in rural areas. However most of the users in those areas aren’t proficient in English. This move by the DeitY will enable them to access websites using Hindi characters. The government is also reportedly planning to introduce domain names in other local languages - Bengali, Punjabi, Gujarati and Tamil. Four years in the making Back in October 2009, C-DAC had announced that domain names in Indic languages would be debuting soon. The announcement had come after Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) had declared that exclusive use of Latin characters for web addresses would be brought to an end. C-DAC had also claimed that they were ready with the technology required to effect this change. But in November 2011 C-DAC was still awaiting approval from ICANN, as reported by Business Standard. At the time…

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