“The language of internet cannot be English and English alone.It must have linkages with the local, and local means local languages.
Hyderabad: Union minister for electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday appealed to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to expedite the process for web addresses in local language scripts.
“The language of internet cannot be English and English alone. It must have linkages with the local, and local means local languages. I appeal to the ICANN community to make local languages available for more internet users to make it accessible,” he said at the opening ceremony of the ICANN public meeting in Hyderabad.
English tops online language content, according to Internet World Stats. No Indian language figures in the top 10. This is the first time the ICANN, an international body that allocates web addresses and assigns unique protocol numbers on the internet, is meeting after the transition of control from the US government to the “multi-stakeholder” community. This community comprises academia, civil society, the technical community, and international governments.
The meeting currently underway in Hyderabad has around 3,000 people in attendance. Of these, over 1,300 registered from India alone. In India, the “dot bharat” domain was formally launched in August 2014. Using this, one can type addresses in Devnagri script and link to web addresses.
However, early reports suggested that the uptake for the same was lukewarm. The domain names available in non-Roman scripts are referred to within the ICANN as Internationalised Domain Names, or IDNs. The organisation has a “steering group” working on what is called “universal acceptance”. The group is currently working to make ensure a system where various IDNs are compatible and that internet applications, like email for example, can accept and process a task or request in any script.