Home > Interesting links, Internet > ICANN explores the possibility of full-fledged use of domain names in all 22 official languages in India

ICANN explores the possibility of full-fledged use of domain names in all 22 official languages in India

The historic decision of ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to support non-Latin characters is a giant leap towards the internationalization of the Internet.

top_level_domainsDomain Name System came into place to provide meaningful, easy to type and easy to remember domain names to a website. Support for regional languages is another step in the right direction to improve global Internet accessibility.

Arabic has now become the first non-Latin script to be used followed by Chinese.
The days are not so far, you will be typing the domain names in your local language.

"This is the biggest change technically to the Internet since it was invented 40 years ago," : Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of the ICANN

The ICANN has put in place a “fast track” system, under which certain requirements will have to be fulfilled by individual countries before making their language systems operational.

C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), a scientific society (famous for its PARAM supercomputers) is assigned the task of putting up guidelines and policies for Top-Level Domains (TLDs) in local languages of India.

The Devanagari script-based languages (Marathi, Hindi, Konkani, Sanskrit and Nepali), Gujarati, Oriya, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Assamese and Bangla will be included in the new language dispensation in phases. It will eventually cover all 22 official languages, including those using Perso-Arabic scripts such as Urdu, Sindhi and Kashmiri.

Most languages will have the equivalent of ‘.Bharat’ as the top level domain name, but it will be ‘.India’ in the case of Tamil, ‘.Bharatam’ in the case of certain languages like Sanskrit and Malayalam and ‘.Hindostan’ in the case of Urdu, if the proposal goes through.

The domain names are in Unicode, a universal encoding system which accommodates the entire range of characters that are used in different languages. Historically domain names could only consist of characters from “a,b,c…,z”; “0,1,2,…,9” and “-“.

demosource: www.hindu.com

Quoting from ICANN blog

What are IDNs?

The acronym “IDNs” stand for Internationalized Domain Names. IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that contain one or more characters other than the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet “a,b,…z”, “0,1,…9” or “-“. An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese.


Hindi is expected be the first Indian language to be made part of the new Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) system.

Example: www.?????.com (Website of C-DAC) can be www.?????.????

Since the Domain Name System is not capable of communicating with these characters, a system is made so that the domain name stored is actually:


This “xn--11bx2e6a3b.com” is referred to as the A-label for the IDN and does not make a lot of sense for users and was never intended for users to see – however, in some instances you will see this.

You can keep a close watch on the major developments by subscribing to RSS feeds from ICANN

That’s one small step for geeks, a giant leap for Netizens !

Possibly Related Posts:

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.