First off, I apologize for being out of action for almost two weeks. Several awesome developments have taken place that I need to share. First, the news by the Indian registry about offering the .bharat IDN for free.
The registry is making a BIG BIG push to bring the Indian ccTLDs a mainstream extension that could rival .COM . You can check the news about this endeavor here. The first salvo is to offer .bharat extension for free. Currently, based on the information I have only Mitsu and Suryanandan.net are respecting the free .bharat domain mandate by the registry. Mitsu is charging Rs. 21 (~$0.29) platform fee ( that they pay to LogicBoxes). However, Suryanandan.net is bearing the cost and giving the names away for FREE. Keep in mind this is for the first year ONLY.
The IDNs are available in seven languages — Hindi, Telugu, Urdu, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi and Tamil. More information about it here – https://registry.in/Internationalized_Domain_Names_IDNs. To convert Hindi words written in English to Hindi script , you can use this tool: http://www.bharat.in/translate.html . Finally, to convert between PunyCode and Unicode and vice-versa, you could also use this tool: http://www.bharat.in/convert/
So, I think this is a noble and well-intended decision by registry to give these for free. I assume that the purpose to give .bharat IDN for free is so that the rural Indian businesses where English is not the primary language can get online and make their presence felt. I would imagine that the all most every company that is aware of the advantages of being online can use this opportunity to get a feel about the logistics of getting online and whether it helps them improve their business. Moreover, even if there only 5% of the businesses that have adopted a .bharat domain, renew their domain for the next year, its still a HUGE win for the registry. Also, since companies that have renewed the domains would spread awareness to other businesses!! Finally, hosting companies and web development companies can also take advantage of this.
My sincere request to Registry is to advertise the above promotion in non-English and regional newspapers. Will definitely help.