The government at one of its meetings conducted last month asked email service providers to enable users to sign up for addresses in local languages, starting with Hindi. This agenda has been implemented to allow Internet facilities to reach the rural areas with local language content for a proper understanding of basic concepts of the Internet.
“The Bharat Net project will connect 250,000-gram panchayats through high-speed Internet in the next few years, and people should be able to utilize it when it reaches them,” said Rajiv Bansal, joint secretary in the ministry of electronics and IT.
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Executives of Google, Microsoft, and Rediff who attended the meeting are of the view that the technology allows for email addresses in scripts such as Devanagari.
Microsoft is committed to developing solutions that help create economic opportunities and build IT skills by facilitating the use of local languages, a spokesperson said. “The current versions of Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge and MS Outlook 2016 all support Indian language including in Hindi”, the person said in an email. However, the latest versions of its software support so-called internationalized email addresses.
Gmail started recognizing IDs that contain accented or non-Latin characters such as in Chinese or Devanagari in 2014. “In the future, we want to make it possible for you to use them to create Gmail accounts,” Google’s Chaparro Monferrer had posted. Google didn’t respond to emails on the matter.
“Around seven to eight years ago, we had to shut down our Tamil site, but now the Hindi site is showing some signs of life. So we need affordable access as well as lots of local-language content,” said. “Email addresses in local languages are one of those nice things to have, but the government should first bring down the cost of access to around Rs 50 for the Internet to truly reach the masses,” Rediff’s CEO Ajit Balakrishnan said.