Bangladesh has filed an application with the global internet body to facilitate easier browsing on the net in Bengali.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina filed the formal application to include Bengali in country code and Top Level Domain (ccTLD) for a greater recognition of the language in the world community.

It was moved Feb 21. The fight to have Bengali as an official language of Pakistan was started on this date in 1952, when Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan.

Watched by a minister and senior civil servants Sunday, Hasina went online to file the application on behalf of Bangladesh.

For 300 million Bengali-speaking people in the world – more than half in Bangladesh – this will facilitate web browsing in their mother tongue, web site said.

The bid may take 6-9 months to materialise.

So far, 17 countries have applied to ICANN, the global custodian for domain names and systems, with Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia and UAE getting their applications approved Jan 21.

“This will help expedite the inclusion of Bengali as one of the official languages of the UN,” a government official said.

Officials say Bengali domain names will also make search engines more efficient for content in the language.

They say getting domain names of choice will be a lot easier and that protection of content copyright for local websites will be possible.

Hasina also inaugurated the International Mother Language Institute in the capital.

“Not only Bengali, but all languages of the world will be studied in this institute,” Hasina said, as she unveiled a plaque of the building Sunday.

One of the new institute's goals will be to preserve languages in danger of being wiped out.

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