Government of India has most probably become the first nation in the world to offer a free domain, in order to promote vernacular languages and Indian scripts online.
As per reports coming in, Govt. has proposed a new offer wherein anyone purchasing a new .in domain can automatically get a free .Bharat domain for a year.
This arrangement has been made via National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), which is India’s first and only Neutral Internet Exchange.
NIXI CEO Rajiv Bansal said,
We have written to registrar for providing one year complimentary web address with ‘.bharat’ (available in Devanagari and other Indian scripts) when a person registers a ‘.in’ website,
Earlier this week, we had reported that Govt. of India has launched a massive vernacular push for bringing non-English speaking Indians online. And for that, they conducted a close-door meeting with the biggest email providers like Google, Microsoft, Rediff etc for launching email addresses in India.
Some of the participants of that meeting had complained that first Govt. of India should set an example before asking private players to do the same. This latest salvo to offer a free .Bharat domain with every .in domain can be rightly considered as a good example for other IT biggies to launch some innovative offers to attract and inspire non-English speaking citizens.
Target: The Next Billion Internet Users
We have already reported that consumption of Hindi content online is growing at an incredible rate of 94% year on year (2015 data from Google). But, there are only 1,00,000 Wiki articles in Hindi whereas there are 500 million Hindi speaking Indians.
The next billion Internet users won’t be English speaking generation, and this fact is now being seriously taken by the Govt. In order to encourage the concept of Digital India, it is very important to offer the right tools and platform for non-English speaking Indians.
Rajiv Bansal made Govt.’s plans clear, when he said,
Most of the next billion that will be impacted by Internet or connect with it will not be English-speaking people. We have to create local language content and develop ecosystem so that non-English citizens can communicate online in their native language,
Govt. has already created the foundation by launching India’s first and biggest multilingual dictionary: BharatVani, which can support 100 Indian languages.
Launching vernacular email addresses is an excellent decision, so is the decision to provide a free .Bharat domain so that more and more non-English speaking bloggers, commentators, and website owners can come online, and explore the exciting world of Internet.