How Afilias set the ball rolling for an Online Digital India

~14 years of partnership building India’s internet address –dot IN–into a global leader~

The story of India’s top-level country code (ccTLD) .IN has a close resemblance to the birth of Lord Krishna, the avatar of Lord Vishnu, whose advise on life and its meaning, is the Holy Book of Gita.

Krishna was born on a dark, stormy night. The mighty rivers of the land were flooded. The baby Krishna’s life depended on being carried to the other side of the churning oceans. A miracle made this possible by cutting a path through the swelling waters.

In a mini parallel, India’s country code top level domain (ccTLD), .IN or dotIN was saved from devastation from unprecendented rains that lashed Mumbai in 2004. The entire city along with the data center that hosted the .IN domain was submerged. It was a life threatening moment for all the .IN domain name servers  (DNS) were under water.

There was complete blackout—no addresses ending in “.in” were available. Approximately 7,000 .IN domain names were registered by various users (mostly within the government and some corporates). But in this moment, the .IN registry needed a miracle to go live again, and save the fledgling domain industry from disaster.

It was in this dark and difficult situation that an SOS request was made to Afilias (which was an emerging technical provider operating the world’s most robust registry platform).  Afilias restored the .IN registry in a record time.

As soon as the request was received, Afilias immediately moved into disaster recovery mode. Afilias offered its DNS servers and engaged with both the Government of India and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to revive and restore the DNS services of .IN Registry within 6 hours. This was unprecedented.

 Ownership and management of the .IN Registry over the years:


Afilias’ response to this incident created a foundation of trust and engagement with the .IN Registry, the Ministry of Electronics and IT and National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI). Following a series of open global RFP processes, Afilias won the contracts for operating the .IN Registry several times over the next 14 years, taking the registry from strength to strength and created new benchmarks for .IN as a domain on the Internet.

The Afilias’ superior technology created new standards of stability, resiliency and performance. Today, the .IN registry is the bedrock of Digital India & Startup India. 

From 7000 domains in 2004 the .IN domains reached a peak of 2.2 million names registered.

Nearly 65% of the first one lakh domains that were registered continue to be live and in use – a tribute to the value and pride placed by the end users on the .IN domain.

.IN’s success—powered by Afilias technology–became a torch bearer for the Government of India’s Digital India initiative – laying the foundation for robust and highly secure operations of online properties, email and DNS services of the government and industry.

This was followed by extensive local language support that will be critical for bringing the next 500 million online.

Like it? Share with your friends!