Report on the Delegation of eight top-level domains representing India in various languages to the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI)

9 June 2017

This report is a summary of the materials reviewed as part of the process for the delegation of eight top-level domains representing India to the National Internet Exchange of India. It includes details regarding the proposed delegation, evaluation of the documentation pertinent to the request, and actions undertaken in connection with processing the delegation.

Factual Information

Country

The “IN” ISO 3166-1 two-letter country code from which the application’s eligibility derives, is designated for use to represent India.

String

The eight domains under consideration for the delegation at the DNS root level are:

  1. The string “ಭಾರತ” represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specification as “xn--2scrj9c”. The individual Unicode code points that comprise this string are U+0CAD U+0CBE U+0CB0 U+0CA4. The string is expressed in Kannada script, and in Kannada language.
  2. The string “ഭാരതം” represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specifications as “xn--rvc1e0am3e”. The individual Unicode points that comprise this string are U+0D2D U+0D3E U+0D30 U+0D24 U+0D02. The string is expressed in Malayalam script, and in Malayalam language.
  3. The string “ভাৰত” represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specifications as “xn--45br5cyl”. The individual Unicode points that comprise this string are U+09AD U+09BE U+09F0 U+09A4. The string is expressed in Bengali script, and in Assamese language.
  4. The string “ଭାରତ” represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specifications as “xn--3hcrj9c”. The individual Unicode points that comprise this string are U+0B2D U+0B3E U+0B30 U+0B24. The string is expressed in Oriya script, and in Oriya language.
  5. The string “بارت”. This is represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specifications as “xn--mgbbh1a”. The individual Unicode points that comprise this string are U+0628 U+0627 U+0631 U+062A. The string is expressed in Arabic script, and in Kashmiri language.
  6. The string “भारतम्” represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specifications as “xn--h2breg3eve”. The individual Unicode points that comprise this string are U+092D U+093E U+0930 U+0924 U+092E U+094D. The string is expressed in Devanagari script, and in Sanskrit language.
  7. The string “भारोत” represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specifications as “xn--h2brj9c8c”. The individual Unicode points that comprise this string are U+092D U+093E U+0930 U+094B U+0924. The string is expressed in Devanagari script, and in Santali language.
  8. The string “ڀارت” represented in ASCII-compatible encoding to the IDNA specifications as “xn--mgbgu82a”. The individual Unicode points that comprise this string are U+0680 U+0627 U+0631 U+062A. The string is expressed in Arabic script, and in Sindhi language.

The selected strings have a transliteration equivalent to “Bharat”, “Bharot”, or “Bharatom”, and each have a meaning equivalent to “India”.

Chronology of events

The National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) is a not-for-profit incorporated on 19 June 2003 under section 25 of the Indian Companies Act (now section 8 under Companies Act, 2013). The Board of Directors of NIXI is comprised of three members nominated from the Government of India, ten members nominated by the country’s Internet Service Provider Association (ISPAI), and one member from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

NIXI has been responsible for managing the .IN (India) country code top-level domain since 2005, in accordance with an order passed by the Government of India. A request to redelegate the .IN domain to NIXI was completed in 2009.

Between October 2009 and December 2011, outreach workshops were held in different regions of India by the applicant in order to raise awareness of internationalized domain names, and then specifically on how Indian internationalised domain names should be deployed.

In 2011, seven IDN ccTLDs representing India were delegated to NIXI.

Additional multi-stakeholder consultations and meetings were held in the following years by NIXI, MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), and the Centre for Developent of Advance Computing (C-DAC).

On 31 July 2015, applications were submitted to ICANN’s “IDN Fast Track” process to have eight additional strings recognized as IDN ccTLDs representing India.

On 8 January 2016, a review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that the “ಭಾರತ”, “ഭാരതം”, “ভাৰত”, and “ଭାରତ” strings “present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in Module 4 of the Fast Track implementation plan, and present an acceptably low risk of user confusion."

On 13 April 2016 the “ಭಾರತ”, “ഭാരതം”, “ভাৰত”, and “ଭାରତ” strings successfully passed the Fast Track string evaluation.

On 15 May 2016, a review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that the “بارت”, “भारतम्”, and “भारोत” strings “present none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in Module 4 of the Fast Track implementation plan, and present an acceptably low risk of user confusion."

On 11 June 2016, a review by the IDN Fast Track DNS Stability Panel found that the “ڀارت” string “presents none of the threats to the stability or security of the DNS identified in Module 4 of the Fast Track implementation plan, and presents an acceptably low risk of user confusion."

On 15 August 2016, the “بارت”, “भारतम्”, “भारोत”, and “ڀارت” strings successfully passed the Fast Track string evaluation.

On 11 May 2017, NIXI commenced a request for delegation of the eight approved strings as top-level domains representing India in various languages.

Proposed Manager and Contacts

The proposed manager is the National Internet Exchange of India, a not-for-profit organization under Indian law. It is based in India.

The proposed administrative and technical contact is Rajiv Kumar, Systems Analyst at the National Internet Exchange of India. The contact is understood to be based in India.

Evaluation of the Request

String Eligibility

The top-level domains are eligible for delegation as the strings have been deemed appropriate representations of India through the ICANN Fast Track String Selection process, and India is presently listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard.

Public Interest

Letters of support were provided by the following:

The application is consistent with known applicable laws in India. The proposed manager undertakes responsibilities to operate the domain in a fair and equitable manner.

Based in country

The proposed manager organization is constituted in India. The proposed administrative contact is understood to be a resident of India. The registry is to be operated in India.

Stability

The application does not involve a transfer of domain operations from an existing domain registry, and therefore stability aspects relating to registry transfer are not relevant.

The application is not known to be contested.

Competency

The application has provided information on the technical and operational infrastructures and expertise that will be used to operate the proposed new domain.

Proposed policies for management of the domain have also been tendered.

Evaluation Procedure

PTI is tasked with coordinating the Domain Name System root zone as part of a set of functions governed by a contract with ICANN. This includes accepting and evaluating requests for delegation and transfer of top-level domains.

A subset of top-level domains are designated for the local Internet communities in countries to operate in a way that best suits their local needs. These are known as country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs), and are assigned to responsible managers that meet a number of public-interest criteria for eligibility. These criteria largely relate to the level of support the manager has from its local Internet community, its capacity to ensure stable operation of the domain, and its applicability under any relevant local laws.

Through the IANA Services performed by PTI, requests are received for delegating new ccTLDs, and transfering or revoking existing ccTLDs. An investigation is performed on the circumstances pertinent to those requests, and, the requests are implemented where they are found to meet the criteria.

Purpose of evaluations

The evaluation of eligibility for ccTLDs, and of evaluating responsible managers charged with operating them, is guided by a number of principles. The objective of the assessment is that the action enhances the secure and stable operation of the Internet’s unique identifier systems.

In considering requests to delegate or transfer ccTLDs, input is sought regarding the proposed new mangaer, as well as from persons and organizations that may be significantly affected by the change, particularly those within the nation or territory to which the ccTLD is designated. The assessment is focused on the capacity for the proposed manager to meet the following criteria:

Method of evaluation

To assess these criteria, information is requested from the applicant regarding the proposed manager and method of operation. In summary, a request template is sought specifying the exact details of the delegation being sought in the root zone. In addition, various documentation is sought describing: the views of the local internet community on the application; the competencies and skills of the manager to operate the domain; the legal authenticity, status and character of the proposed manager; and the nature of government support for the proposal.

After receiving this documentation and input, it is analyzed in relation to existing root zone management procedures, seeking input from parties both related to as well as independent of the proposed manager should the information provided in the original application be deficient. The applicant is given the opportunity to cure any deficiencies before a final assessment is made.

Once all the documentation has been received, various technical checks are performed on the proposed manager’s DNS infrastructure to ensure name servers are properly configured and are able to respond to queries correctly. Should any anomalies be detected, PTI will work with the applicant to address the issues.

Assuming all issues are resolved, an assessment is compiled providing all relevant details regarding the proposed manager and its suitability to operate the relevant top-level domain.