New Domain Names in Indian Languages

The internet is ushering in a  new era with the domain names opened up to non-Latin scripts. In India, all preparations have been made to make the process of registering domain names in Indian languages. But even after this, those in the know fear the spate of cybersquatting cases to haunt the process. With variety of languages in India, experts are wary of people using the process for unfair gains.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers board on Friday formally approved the new Internationalized Domain Name Fast Track Process. This is the one of the biggest changes in its four-decade history of the governing body of internet. In India, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC)is the nodal agency to oversee the process. It had organised a workshop on Thursday in Pune about the process. During the discussion, it was highlighted how the switch over to the indigenous languages is full of hurdles and possibilities of cybersquatting as well as typosquatting.

Mahesh Kulkarni, program co-ordinator at CDAC told Pune Mirror, “The main thrust of CDAC is on introducing domain name .भारत which will be an alternative to .in. This is the only top level domain available in Indian languages yet.
The next line of action for names like .net or .org will be decided after considering the repsonse to this system. The main problem is that of Homographs (words looking similar) and homophones (words sounding similar). If we start to remove the homographs, then there will be many constraints on the domain name registration. Hence we have decided to look into the homophones and bar them from the registration.”

As for cybersquatting, he acknowledged that people can take advantage of name registration in new languages. “Hence we have formulated a policy to approach the people who have .in domain name and tell them to register .भारत. If they fail to do so, then any other person can register same domain in Indian language. Since we have control only over .in domain name, it is opened up. We have even not considered domain names because proper words are to be standardized.
Department of Technology and CDAC will monitor the process and will open other domain names after taking appropriate measures.”

Kulkarni said ICANN has put the International Domain Names on fast process.  But lot of precautions has to be taken in the process. In the next stage, localised domain names will be taken up.


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