Bhubaneswar: An Awareness Raising National Workshop on Internationalised Domain Names (IDN) for Indian Languages with special emphasis on Odia was organised at Hotel Swosti Premium Limited, Bhubaneswar by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) on Monday.

The workshop was a result of the joint efforts of ICANN and the Government of India to enable the availability of domain names in Indian languages. In the past IDNs were available only in Latin characters and having domain name in an Indian script was impossible.

Dr. Govind, Sr Director, DIT, addressing the media said that, “the workshop is a crucial factor that will determine the success of IDN initiative for Indian languages. Although there is no doubt that it signals a positive time for acceptance of Indian languages on the World Wide Web, there will be a number of issues that will require deliberation for its smooth implementation, security and confidentiality being some of the key elements within that framework. Both the stakeholders and the industry have to come forward to iron out the underlying issues and set the standards towards raising the confidence level of the user community and thereby its wide acceptance.”

Throwing light on the initiative undertaken by the DIT for IDNs, Ms. Tulika Pandey highlighted the role of DIT in “creating the ecosystem for the implementation of Indian languages on the Internet. Surpassing geographical boundaries, the Internet has brought forth the new dynamics of access, dependality and communication. Of these, language has probably been opne of the key issues due to its direct effect on communication and its subsequent reach. The DIT has proactively recognised this aspect and had tried to address the challenges by partnering with the best R&D organizations to seek relevant solutions.”

Talking about the implementation of odia script in IDNs, Dr. Harihar Kanungo, Director, Odia Bhasa Pratisthan said that “the move will strategically impact the penetration of the Internet at the grassroots level. The script and languages of any community is an emotional connect, and the Government of India has pulled off a miracle of sorts by taking cognozance of this aspect to introduce Indian languages on the internet. The first step has been taken and it is up to us to determine the rest of its journey.”

Commentingon the workshop, Shri MD Kulkarni, Associate Director and Head, GIST, C-DAC, Pune said that “the workshop heralds a new era for domain names in Indian languages. The GIST group has been the pioneer of Indian language computing in the country and to be associated with the IDN initiative has broadened its perspective on the web front. We have come a long way to bring the policy document to the stakeholders for their feedback. The key aspect here is to reach a consensus on the mode of implementation so that the user community can benefit at the earliest.”