Making a significant move on the global front, India has made a bid to be a major player in global Internet governance. Recently the country made a pitch to the US to either establish a new ‘root server’ in India or to re-locate one of the existing 13 root servers here. For those of you who are wondering what a ‘root server’ is, in layman’s term it is the base of Internet functioning.
The purpose of these 13 root servers is to translate readable host names into IP addresses, from which a user gets to the right portal link and are thus essential to IP name resolution.
It is, therefore, at the core of managing the Internet.
There are only 13 of these in the world and out of them, 10 are located in the US while two are in Europe and only one in Japan. If India gets a root server, it will be Asia’s second.
India currently has six mirror servers. These mirror servers are built to share the network load.
If there is any change in Internet addresses, they get relayed to all root servers which get updated simultaneously.
While there is no official word on this bid taking place, senior officials recently told The Economic Times
that the bid took place two weeks back and that India made its pitch at the Indo-US cyber dialogue. India also made it a point that New Delhi accepted the US backed stakeholder’s model on Internet governance and thus encourage Washington to diversify its Internet management structure since a majority of the 10 root servers in US are currently located in NASA or military research labs and universities.
The senior officials also said that US sounds positive on the topic, though they wanted India to take a call to have the 14th root server.
India feels that even relocating one of the 13 servers will go a long way in displaying confidence in India’s democratic credentials since India has the second highest number of Internet users in the world behind only China. India overtook Japan in 2013 and till March 2012 had nearly 74 million Internet users. The number has grown at a phenomenal pace since and now stands at 354 million
– more than the population of the United States.
The officials also told The Economic Times that having a root server in India will give India considerable boost in the Internet governance structure. The move will also promote a major technological up-gradation in India and will act as great symbol of trust between India and US. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is spearheading the country’s digitization drive. He will be visiting Silicon Valley this month to woo some of the world’s largest IT giants into associating themselves with the ‘Digital India’ campaign. While India has made point in its favour with the bid for a root server, there has been no news of an official exchange between the two nations.