Evolution Of Internet In India: The Indispensable Visage Of Media

By Bharathi Murali:

Internet is one component which has recently become the key ingredient of quick and rapid lifestyle. Be it for communication or explorations, connecting with people or for official purposes, ‘internet’ has become the central-hub for all.

There is a funny quote that says ‘Anything not in Google does not exist’. This essentially states that internet has everything and anything that a man needs virtually. Narrowing down the broad view and classification of internet, it’s intervention into education, corporate sector, military, fashion, entertainment, communication and travel, so on, Internet, has become the ‘sixth element’ of life!

Cutting the long story short, settling upon the topic ‘India and the Internet’, many changes of events are being envisaged and experienced. Indian system of governing is a marshy affair, eliminating that complicated segment of discussion, let us look at the changes internet (the most powerful branch of media) has created in our peninsula.

  • It is 2011, walking back the time by sixteen years, it is 1995. The year internet was introduced in India by VSNL. In the mid 1995 with the use of dial-up service this god-gifted facility was born in six major cities of the country.
  • The ‘Cybercafe’ fashion. This reminds of a movie in which the two find their love through chat-rooms at a cyber-café, located at Mumbai. Rediff.com was launched in this year, and the country also saw its first cyber-café at Mumbai hotel. In that period, it was a costly affair and was limited to few. The riches, the heavy-pocketed college guys and girls had enjoyed this facility. The literature showed later on, how they made use of it!
  • Here comes the innovation, ICICI Bank launched the first ever ‘online banking site’ in the year 1997. Thank the masters of the past who merged the system of banking on the wire, if you feel lucky when recharging your phone balance through the sites, paying your school or college fees online without standing in the long lines at the fee-counter, if you are able to transfer cash from account to account without travelling to the banks personally.
  • This year also saw a major, poster face of Indian Internet, Sabeer Bhatia, the creator of ‘Hotmail’.
  • We have now come three years ahead since internet was introduced to India, now it is 1998. VSNL dies, its monopoly fades in air and the ISP policy is introduced. ISP- Internet Service Provider was introduced and curtailed the monopoly played by VSNL, in this lucrative sector. ‘Sify’ became the first ISP of India.
  • The villains of the cyber-space- The Hackers. The first ever major case of hacking was reported in this year, when teenagers hacked the data of the BARC.
  • Cyber-café began mushrooming throughout the nation, making the facility open to all.
  • The penultimate year of the second millennium, the year that kicked-off the ‘dotcom’ services.
  • With a prefix ‘e’ everything became online on the dotcoms!
  • The first ‘Hindi’ portal was born, Webdunia!
  • We are in Y2K now. The Indian version of E-Bay was launched, ‘Bazzee.com’. Thanks to the genesis of sites like ‘yahoo.co.in’ and ‘.in’ where the foreign portals set up spots in India, giving us a unique ID.
  • When there is a place to write, there are always journalists present out there. ‘Online journalism’ was born. Cheers to ITC for making this available to the rural-India, The Bharat. Launch of e-Choupal was initiated this year. Travel online! The Indian Railways launches the portal, ‘irctc.com’ where train tickets can be booked online.
  • The cyber-crime police station was started at the Garden City because in the advent of this year, 2001, the first major cyber-crime was reported in which the ‘go2nextjob.com’ site was hacked.
  • Skipping 2002, as it was majorly with budding dotcom sites and brokerage portals, here we leap to 2003, AirDeccan started the facility of making the air tickets’ booking available on the wire.
  • As how Microsoft took over India’s ‘Hotmail’, in the parallel fashion, EBay took over the online-shopping sites fearing their potency in the tear 2004.
  • 2005, the year of exponential Growth! Indians became the 4% of the total world’s net users, with more than ten million users trading online, from one café at Mumbai, it became two million times, in the year 2005. 5300 kiosks were opened in the rural India to aid the farmers and to educate them with the rational developments happening around, by ITC’ e-Choupal.

Pausing at the year 2005, it is simple to look forward into the years of 2006-till date. All the chief facilities were introduced in the early period of internet-evolution, whatever that happened later on was just an emulation of the earlier innovations.

When media was merely confined to magazines, papers, journals, television, radio; internet was a mammoth step taken by the elites.

Kudos to the makers of the Cyber-World!

Image courtesy.

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