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Online India

by Odd de Presno

____________________________________________________________ Sample text from the Online World Monitor newsletter ISSN: 0805-6315. April 1995. (C) by Odd de Presno, Norway ____________________________________________________________
On April 22, the newsgroup brought a story from Associated Press titled "Cyberspace Catches On In India." Highlights: * A 110-year-old law leaves the government in control of all channels of overseas communications. Regulations require Indians to get licenses for computer modems, and any other communication device except a standard telephone from the state-owned phone company. Enforcement is lax. Indians routinely ignore the rules. Computer users are beginning to find ways to hook into the Internet. * Access to the Internet is limited. Some Indians dial in through accounts in Singapore or Hong Kong. The high cost of international calls means no one can spend much time accessing the databases. * Twenty computer bulletin board services in India offer e-mail, news, shopping for computer gizmos and even games. * To keep things under its control, the state's Overseas Communications Co. is buying a computer that will give Indians a gateway to the Internet for a fee. The Clari hierarchy of newsgroups on Usenet is available for a fee. If you are not a subscriber, pointing your news reader at will give an error message. The news mainly comes from Associated Press and Reuters. For more on the growing Indian online scene, read this Web page: According to the CIA World Factbook: The Indian domestic phone system is poor providing only one telephone for about 200 persons on average. Long distance telephoning has been improved by a domestic satellite system. In the news: "The Indian Government slashes import duties on information technology products and provides tax breaks for the IT industry. This should help create a better atmosphere for India to establish itself as a 'world IT superpower.'" (Express Computer, India; April 3, 1995) India - What is? ---------------- India is on the edge of an economical upturn. The Asian Development Bank forecasts a 6.1 percent growth in GNP this year, and another 6.5 percent in 1996 (April 95). The CIA World Factbook says it had over 903 million people (July 1993) on a land area slightly more than one-third the size of the US. Only China has a larger population. India has the fourth-largest reserves of coal in the world. They also have iron ore, mica, manganese, bauxite, chromite, diamonds, petroleum, natural gas, titanium ore, and limestone. 55 percent of the land is arable. 67 percent of the 285 million+ labor force works in agriculture. They fight a rough environment with droughts, flash floods, severe thunderstorms are common, deforestation, soil erosion, overgrazing, air and water pollution, and desertification. English is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication. Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people. Other languages include Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit, Hindustani, and others. India has 24 languages each spoken by a million or more persons, and numerous other languages and dialects. Total population literacy is at 48 percent. A large part of the population, perhaps as much as 40%, remains too poor to afford an adequate diet. Search the CIA World Factbook for more on India: The India Home page ------------------- There are no official Indian Web home pages within the country's borders. Most sites offer gopher information only, and you may find the connection intolerably slow most of the time. The ERNET Network Information Centre's gopher is at gopher:// Outside India, there are several very interesting Web pages. However, there is a high degree of duplication of links. The largest collection of links to India related information that I could find, is Sergio Paoli's Web site in Argentina: Also, check out The India Network and Research Foundation (USA) offers detailed information about India, such as tourism (including customs & baggage rules, clickable map, and images), major news headlines, culture and fine arts, film music, recipes, sports which include hockey, cricket and tennis. URL: It has links to Embassy of India in Washington, DC (USA) resources, other Research Resources on India, and several digests (on News, News and Discussion, Personal Network, Telugu, Faculty). Other want-to-be India Home pages are at News ---- Sergio Paoli has links to Headlines from newspapers, India news and Information, indian-news, and india-news-network-digest. The Hindu, a national Indian newspaper, is experimenting with an online edition at Several other commercial news providers covers the area (see The Online World resources handbook). Networking ---------- For a list of Internet access providers in India, point at Sergio Paoli has links to IRC #India pages. A small Urdu dictionary, and a list of hindu names and their meanings, can be retrieved at For information about the Global Hindu Electronic Network (GHEN), point your browser at Business -------- Start with the report on Business Practices in India at gopher://UMSLVMA.UMSL.EDU/00/LIBRARY/GOVDOCS//IBPA/IBPD/IBPD000 A report about India Economic Policy and Trade Practices is at gopher://UMSLVMA.UMSL.EDU/00/LIBRARY/GOVDOCS//CRPT/CRPT0039 India Online ( provides information about export/import offerings, joint ventures, manufacturing, business services, buyers need, market news, and other business opportunities offered by the newly liberated Indian Economy. IndiaWorld delivers business information at The offering includes Indian news, business and entertainment information, and even cartoons by India's famous cartoonist R.K. Laxman. The Web server is based in the U.S., since India "still needs a clear policy on commercial usage of the Internet." Access is restricted to subscribers. Subscription costs USD 29 per year. Sample links from IndiaWorld's home page: Business, Finance and Technology [Indian Budget for 1995-96] [Company Profiles] [Market Watch] [India Monitor] [Articles] [Express Investment Week] [Express Computer] [Dataquest] [Voice and Data] [India Business Directory] Travel ------ Start by checking out the US State Department Travel Advisories at gopher:// visories/Current-Advisories/india Sergio Paoli spent a considerable time planning for a visit to India in December last year. Another good reason for a visit to his India page. India Online has information about travel related services and places of interest ( Their travel guide has tips, things to do, places to visit, means to travel etc. To see pictures of India, try A travel agent survey is posted monthly on many Indian related soc.culture groups. The most recent version can be retrieved by electronic mail to, and at this Web address TravelASIA (Singapore) offers India related information at Select "Travel Information" for essential travel information such as climate, electricity and water, public holidays, tipping, and check out The Indian Rupee link. UNESCO's World Heritage list points to special cultural and natural historic sites worth visiting in India: gopher:// You will also find the following site interesting: Here, information includes movie, music, economy, recipes, graduate schools, languages, history, religions. (The site is scheduled to move!) Having fun ---------- The India Humor home page is filled with jokes, cartoons, funny facts. Click on the India map at this Web address for access: India Online offers information about Indian food, including listings of Indian Restaurants around the world, recipes, etc: Sergio Paoli has many links to Indian art (including classical), culture and life, archives of music and songs (including film music), galleries of Indian movie star photographs, the Urdu Poetry Page, religion (Bhakti Yoga, Hinduism, Sai, Sikhism). You name it. Education/Research ------------------ According to the list at gopher://, there are now 328 Indian sites addressable by email from outside India. For a quick and easy list of educational sites, check out gopher:// Visiting may also be useful. Other foreign resources ----------------------- A host in Thailand maintains links to "Infoservers in India" There are many India-related newsgroups, including: + alt.culture.karnataka Culture and language of the Indian state of Karnataka. + alt.culture.kerala + Asian Indians in the US and Canada. + alt.hindu On Hinduism and Hindu culture. + Progressive politics in the Indian sub- continent. + News from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, etc. + Hindustani and Carnatic Indian classical music. + Discussing Indian music in general. + Traveling in Asia. + soc.culture.indian Group for discussion about India & things Indian. + Info group for soc.culture.indian, etc. + soc.culture.indian.telugu The culture of the Telugu people of India. + soc.culture.tamil + soc.culture.punjab + soc.culture.indian.kerala + soc.culture.bengali + soc.culture.indian.marathi + tamu.culture.india When we visited a few days ago, the list of Indian news stories included: * "India Headline News" * "Hundreds of pilgrims visit Hindu shrine" * "India to buy three cryogenic rocket engines from Russia" * "India - Appeasement policy caused ruling party debacle athustings" * "India - Tamil nadu claims lowest number of polio cases" * "India - UP police tampered with records, says CBI" * "Indo-British initiative in science and technology launched" There are also several mailing lists, including: INDIA-D ( - Discussion on the affairs of the Indian subcontinent, and issues facing Indians living abroad. (Moderated). It can also be read on bit.listserv.india-d. Contribution required. HINDU-L (on - On Hinduism. This moderated group can also be read at bit.listserv.hindu-d (digest.). TAMIL-L (LISTSERV@DHDURZ1.BITNET) Tamil studies. FROI-L ( Friends of India. Write to FROI-L-Request@UAFSYSB.UARK.EDU BUDDHIST (LISTSERV@JPNTUVM0.BITNET) A forum Indian and Buddhist Studies. INDOLOGY ( Aimed at academics interested in the study of classical India. Send text INDEX INDOLOGY to the LISTSERV for a list of available files. HimNet (Himalayan Network) - a link for researchers working in the the Himalayan countries (Nepal, India, Tibet, Bhutan, etc.). Send SUBSCRIBE to By this time next year, expect many more Indian resources to be available directly from the source. India seems ready to join the online world! --- end --- Note: A hypertext version of this text is on this Web address: ________________________________________________________________________ | Permission to redistribute as long as the text remains intact as it | | appears here (including this paragraph). Permission to quote,excerpt | | & reference in other media, as long as cited material is identified | | as coming from this newsletter. | | For any other use, contact the author for permission. | \_____________________________________________________________________/ The Online World Monitor newsletter ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ is a free, optional offering for supporters of The Online World resources handbook. It is also open for subscription by others. This issue of the newsletter has the following contents: 1. Focus on China 2. Tests, practical hints: The SlipKnot Web browser. The Free Agent news reader. To CompuServe by OzWin. Telnet to CompuServe. Telnet "back home" from CompuServe. Automated monitoring of news. 3. Important developments The Online World resources handbook is available in hypertext at For more information: * Send an email to LISTSERV@VM1.NODAK.EDU. Put the following command in the TEXT of your mail: GET TOW MONITOR * Gopher to (URL: gopher:// * World Wide Web: To give copies of this file to others, send a message to the LISTSERV with the following command in the TEXT of your mail: GIVE TOW SAMPLE6 TO Replace by the recipient's email address. Thanks, Odd de Presno ;-------------------==> <==------------------------. : KIDLINK: Global Networking for Youth 10-15 gopher:// `---==> Automatic information by email from <==----'