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India completes 15 years of commercial internet

On the eve of India completing 15 years of commercial internet, VeriSign, a leading provider of internet infrastructure services, has released some facts and figures — India has registered a total of 1.037 million .com and .net domain names (Rediff.com was the first .com domain name registered in India in 1996); with 81 million internet users, India currently ranks VeriSign, a leading provider of internet infrastructure services, has released some facts and figures — India has registered a total of 1.037 million .com and .net domain names (Rediff.com was the first .com domain name registered in India in 1996); with 81 million internet users, India currently ranks fourth in terms of internet users worldwide and is predicted to have the third largest number of internet users by 2013; India has 180,000 cyber cafes and 75,000 Community Service Centres (CSCs); IRCTC.co.in is the most searched website in the country; 84 per cent of total internet users visit social networking sites in India.

“The internet has not only transformed India, it has defined a generation of innovation and entrepreneurism, serving as the launch pad for a new generation of companies that have transformed communications, commerce and entertainment. Its promise as a medium for improving commerce and daily life will be further strengthened as it is used by more and more people. A multilingual web, ease of use via the voice perhaps and the mobile web could be solutions for the future,” Ravi Shanker, joint secretary and CEO, National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), department of information technology, ministry of communications and IT, Government of India, said while speaking at the Thought Leadership Event organised by VeriSign in New Delhi on February 11th, 2011.

“What makes the internet so powerful and pervasive is the extent to which it supports and improves our lives. The 25th anniversary of .com is an opportunity to celebrate the internet and all of the individuals and organizations that have contributed to its remarkable development,” said Patrick Kane, senior vice president and general manager, naming services, VeriSign. “As one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing internet markets, India will be at the forefront of the next 25 years of digital evolution. India not only accounts for a large and growing percentage of the global user base, it has also emerged as a hotbed of innovation and a nexus for high-tech and engineering expertise.”

To commemorate the occasion, N Ravi Shanker and Patrick Kane unveiled Net Ch@kra, a book on the impact of the internet in India. The book is an initiative of and is published by Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), a not for profit organization that works toward finding solutions to bridge the digital divide. Net Ch@kra is a compilation of articles from academicians, industry and government leaders such as Sam Pitroda, Adviser to the PM for Public Information Infrastructure & Innovation, Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Minister of State, Ministry of Commerce & Industry; N Ravi Shanker, joint secretary, DIT; Ganesh Natarajan, CEO, Zensar and Prof S Sadagopan, founder and director, IIIT-B.

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