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Thursday, August 27, 2015 3:36PM IST (10:06AM GMT)
.Bharat- Sparking off the Regional Digital Boom in India
New Delhi, Delhi, India

27th August marks one year since The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) launched the International Domain Names (IDNs) .Bharat– an initiative that allows web addresses to be typed in eight Indian languages. The list includes Hindi, Bodo,Dogri, Konkani, Maithili, Marathi, Nepali and Sindhi .NIXI manages and operates the .IN domain name which helps build brands and individuals with a strong Indian identity in the English language. The .Bharat domain aims to bridge the digital divide and accelerate boons of internet to the already existing 243 million users in India.
We are at the brink of 'Digital India' and are soaring into digital cyberspace. The penetration of smart phones and the mobile internet in rural India has made the internet easily accessible to a chunk of population- almost all of which is not having English as its primary language. And the audience that uses the internet in their indigenous language is growing at the rate of 47% every year. These IDNs constitute a valiant attempt to increase the penetration of the internet through every vein of India. A business will no longer be confined to a miniscule geographical area but take wings and present itself to a larger global audience. Soon, local business will get a platform to grab all that the internet has to offer; all this through the use of local Indian languages.
It is also interesting to note that many e-commerce sites have opened news doors by displaying their products in local languages. So have social media sites like Facebook that is available in eight Indian languages. Giants like YouTube are disseminating advertising commercials in local languages as well. The reach for such brands are massive and more and more brands are realising the potential of talking to their audience in their local language. Moreover, it creates a communication cycle that may help seamless connectivity.
.Bharat is a welcome gift for a country with an entrepreneurial spirit. With an open and accessible platform in the offering, this initiative will primarily benefit the non-English speaking cluster in India. With the option of showcasing themselves and their businesses in their native languages, individuals & entities will connect better. This will not only help bridge the digital divide but also propagate a much needed digital revolution in India in the years to come.

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Nirav Mevcha, Digital Media Planner, nirav@dcrypt.co
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