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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 clari.world.asia.india 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 clari.world.asia.india
will give an error message. The news mainly comes from Associated Press and
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
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
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
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 http://www.webpage.com/hindu. Several other commercial news
providers covers the area (see The Online World resources handbook).
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 http://rbhatnagar.csm.uc.edu:8080/hindu_universe.html.
Start with the report on Business Practices in India at
A report about India Economic Policy and Trade Practices is at
India Online (http://indiaonline.com/biz.html) 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 http://www.indiaworld.com.
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]
Start by checking out the US State Department Travel Advisories at
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 (http://indiaonline.com/travel.html). 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
firstname.lastname@example.org, 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:
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!)
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.
According to the list at gopher://soochak.ncst.ernet.in/00/ernetlist,
there are now 328 Indian sites addressable by email from outside India.
For a quick and easy list of educational sites, check out
Visiting http://coombs.anu.edu.au/ 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
+ alt.culture.us.asian-indian Asian Indians in the US and Canada.
+ alt.hindu On Hinduism and Hindu culture.
+ alt.india.progressive Progressive politics in the Indian sub-
+ misc.news.southasia News from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, etc.
+ rec.music.indian.classical Hindustani and Carnatic Indian classical
+ rec.music.indian.misc Discussing Indian music in general.
+ rec.travel.asia Traveling in Asia.
+ soc.culture.indian Group for discussion about India & things
+ soc.culture.indian.info Info group for soc.culture.indian, etc.
+ soc.culture.indian.telugu The culture of the Telugu people of India.
When we visited misc.news.southasia 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 (email@example.com) - 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.
HINDU-L (on firstname.lastname@example.org) - On Hinduism. This
moderated group can also be read at bit.listserv.hindu-d
TAMIL-L (LISTSERV@DHDURZ1.BITNET) Tamil studies.
FROI-L (email@example.com) Friends of India. Write to
BUDDHIST (LISTSERV@JPNTUVM0.BITNET) A forum Indian and Buddhist
INDOLOGY (firstname.lastname@example.org). 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 HimNet@erdw.ethz.ch.
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!
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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
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