India to Officially Adopt “Bharat”: Implications for .IN Domains and Web Identity

Speculation and anticipation are mounting as an intriguing development sparks conversations across India. The catalyst for these discussions is the circulation of an invitation to a G20 dinner scheduled for September 9, which has raised eyebrows due to its use of “President of Bharat” rather than the customary “President of India.” Alongside this curious change in nomenclature, there is a forthcoming special session of Parliament that has piqued interest. Many are now connecting the dots and suggesting that during this parliamentary session, the government may propose a resolution to officially change the country’s name from “India” to “Bharat.” If such a transition were to materialize, it could potentially lead to an identity crisis for websites utilizing the .IN domain extension.

Before we delve into the implications for .IN domains, it’s essential to understand the significance of the names “India” and “Bharat” within the country’s identity. Presently, India is recognized and referred to by both names. The Indian Constitution employs both “India” and “Bharat.” The difference lies in the language: in English, the nation is known as India, while in Hindi, it is called Bharat. Should these speculations come to fruition, the country would officially be referred to as “Bharat” in both Hindi and English.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the .IN domain extension. .IN is a ccTLD (country code Top-Level Domain), and it serves as a marker that informs the world that a website’s domain name was registered with INRegistry, an organization established by NIXI. Furthermore, .IN includes subdomains that are exclusively reserved for specific purposes. For instance, is reserved for Indian government use, while is designated for the Indian military.

While the name of a TLD may not seem critically significant in the age of diverse TLDs, it does carry inherent web identity implications. Originally, all ccTLDs consisted of two letters, and each country was assigned one. As a result, these ccTLDs inherently link websites to their respective countries, facilitating a quick understanding of their origin.

This means that when encountering a .IN website, one can instinctively deduce that it is an Indian website. Whether it truly is Indian or not is a separate matter, but the association remains. This principle extends to all other ccTLDs as well. For example, .CN denotes a Chinese website, .US signifies an American website, .UK indicates a British website, and so forth.

If India were to officially adopt the name “Bharat” across the digital realm, it would be prudent to consider the implications for web identity. In such a scenario, a new TLD (Top-Level Domain) tailored to the country’s new name would be ideal. Options like .BH or .BR might seem fitting, but alas, these TLDs are already allocated to Bahrain and Brazil, respectively. Similarly, .BT is designated for Bhutan.

However, the ever-evolving landscape of the internet allows for the introduction of new and longer TLDs. This offers room for creative solutions to maintain a strong web identity for Bharat. Perhaps negotiations with countries currently holding these TLDs might yield positive results, or India could explore the possibility of adopting variations like .BHARAT or .BHRT.

As India potentially embarks on a journey to officially become Bharat, it’s evident that the digital world will need to adapt to these changes. The implications for web identity and the .IN domain extension are just one facet of this significant transformation. The discussions and decisions in the upcoming Parliament session will undoubtedly shape the future digital identity of the country, reinforcing the importance of staying attuned to these developments in the ever-evolving online landscape.

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