.SHIKSHA Case Study by ICANN
The word “shiksha” is of Sanskrit origin and signifies teaching, learning and education. This word appeals to the ethos of learning in India, which is one of the world’s largest education markets estimated at $101 billion in FY19. In 2018, there were about 40,000 colleges and universities in India, with nearly 37 million students enrolled in higher education.¹ The country has also become the second largest market for e-learning after the United States, and it is expected to reach $1.96 billion by 2021 with around 9.5 million users.² One of the main programs that guides the education sector in India, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, is focused on regional diversity requirements of the country. India’s constitution recognizes 22 major languages and there is no single, nationwide language of instruction in the Indian school system. While Hindi and English are official languages in India, there are many others used in schools throughout the country. Previously, there was no universal top-level domain (TLD) representing the education ethos exclusively in the Indian context; however, the word shiksha, is synonymous with education in India’s major languages, and .SHIKSHA is intended to bridge this gap. Afilias Limited – the registry running .SHIKSHA – has been in operation since 2001 and has supported applications and launches for a wide variety of toplevel domains. For example, the registry manages or provides support for:
.ASIA, .ORGANIC, .移动( Chinese for “mobile”) and many others.
“India is one of the world’s largest education markets.
.SHIKSHA helps people identify organizations on the Internet
that are learning related and tailored to an Indian audience.”
The primary objective of .SHIKSHA is to provide the education sector with a customized online address, as well as create an easily identifiable hub of organizations associated with learning for Internet users. The Sanskrit word shiksha clearly indicates a focus on education, which signals that organizations using .SHIKSHA are focused on an Indian audience and learning. Many .SHIKSHA registrars are focused on schools, but the meaning of shiksha goes even further to encompass a person’s overall journey of continuous education, including teaching, learning and self-improvement.
The registry is committed to ensuring that organizations or online properties that use this domain are associated with learning, development, coaching, training or formal education. For example, .SHIKSHA is home to a website that publishes the results of all school board exams (results.shiksha), which has received more than 15 million hits to date, according to Google Analytics. There is also an e-commerce platform that educates visitors about electronic goods (gadgets.shiksha), and others are tailored to learning about specific topics or personal interests (magicpitara.shiksha, hope.shiksha, etc.).
The .SHIKSHA team intends to continue registration growth through blogs, industry events, registrar channels and a network of education-related portals and establishments.
New gTLD Fast Facts
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers’ (ICANN) New gTLD Program is responsible for introducing new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) into the Internet, which will result in the largest-ever expansion of the domain name system. The goal of this expansion is to enhance competition, innovation and consumer choice. Top-level domains are the letters immediately following the final dot in an Internet address. Through the program, the domain name system is expanding from 22 gTLDs to hundreds.
The New gTLD Program, led by ICANN’s Global Domains Division makes it possible for communities, governments, businesses and brands to apply to operate a top-level domain registry. Operating a registry is a responsibility that requires a major commitment. In essence, the registry operator becomes the custodian of a piece of the Internet’s core infrastructure. For this reason, ICANN established a rigorous process for those who applied for a new gTLD. The application process is a cornerstone of the New gTLD Program.
For the full report, please download the attached Case Study PDF (courtesy of ICANN) in the righthand sidebar.
¹ Statistics according to the India Brand Equity Foundation at: https://www.ibef.org/industry/education-presentation and https://www.ibef.org/industry/educationsector-india.aspx
² KPMG and Google, Online Education in India: 2021: https://home.kpmg/in/en/home/insights/2017/05/internet-online-education-...