Internet domain names in Malayalam soon

Internet domain names in Malayalam soon
The Kerala government’s official website kerala.gov.in will be accessed by using the domain address കേരള.സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ soon.
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Thiruvananthapuram: English Web addresses will no longer be the law of the land! Malayali internet users will soon be able to use domain names or e-mail addresses in the local script.

For example, one can enter a domain name in Malayalam to get Malayalam or English content, instead of typing a URL (Uniform Resource Locator), the web address that connects users to content, in English, which is the current practice.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit corporation with the responsibility for Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) management worldwide, has started working on integrating Malayalam script URLs into the internationalised domain names (IDN).

Once the setup is up and running, the Kerala government’s official website kerala.gov.in will be accessed by using the domain addressകേരള.സര്‍ക്കാര്‍. The official mail ID of the chief minister would possibly be മുഖ്യമന്ത്രി@കേരള സര്‍ക്കാര്‍.     

Public input welcomed

Based on the recommendation of a panel comprising Malayali tech and language experts, the ICANN has decided to welcome suggestions from the general public to make the project more user-friendly.

The ICANN has been getting requests from people all over the world to replace Latin-language Web addresses used currently by multi-lingual scripts so that people with no knowledge of English would be able to go online and access the websites with the domain names completely in their languages.

The ICANN has also invited proposals for the Malayalam Root Zone Label Generation Rules (LGR) to build guidelines for secure and stable definition of the top-level domains in the vernacular script.

A Neo-Brahmi Generation Panel (NBGP), set up under the ICANN, which includes Malayalee experts as well, has been working on developing Root Zone Label Generation Rules for Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Tamil and Telugu.

As per the LGR Procedure, these proposals would be posted for public comments, and based on the feedback, the NBGP will finalise each proposal for its evaluation and integration into the Label Generation Rules for the Root Zone.

Apart from the commonly used domain extensions such ‘.com’, ‘.in’ and ‘.org’, there are top-level domains, that reflect brand names with suffixes such as ‘bank.sbi’ or ‘q5.audi’ as extension. Domain names in Malayalam can be secured by taking part in the ICANN auction to be held next year.

Technical challenges

There are chances of Malayalam domain names causing confusion among users due to the language’s dynamic features, syllables and phonetics. For example, the English capital letter ‘O’ can be mistaken for the Malayalam letter ‘ഠ’. So extra caution has to be taken to ensure that domain names are insulated from malpractices like spoofing and phishing.

The LGR will look to overcome such technical issues and evolve simple and error-free codes for the vernacular script.

Those who are interested can review the proposals and provide comments by visiting goo.gl/6Np6Lh before November 7.

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