Status of .NP Domain Names and Mercantile’s breaching of its own Rules

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.np Domain Registration Logo
.np Domain Registration Logo

If you have a business inside Nepal, then you might want to get the country level domain (TLD) which is .np like .com.np. Or even if you are a Nepalese citizen, you are liable to get the free .com.np domain address which is at present, all handled by Mercantile – a private company. To regulate the internet workflow, traffic patterns, maintain national ethics & integrity, this country level domains (ccTLD) should have been handled by a Government Organization which is yet a misery (How to get a .np domain name).

The Government has just initiated to handle .gov.np domains, now onward all Government offices should register their .gov.np domain names from Gov-np Domain Registration office, National Information Technology Center (NITC) inside Singh Durbar in Kathmandu. Yes, time for the Government to undertake the Nepalese national domain has come (The rules for gov.np registration are thus different from those of other domain names.) Here, we try to explore the ethics and rules imposed by Mercantile during registration of the .np domain and violation of the same by the same registrar (Mercantile) company.

Microsoft.com.np - Domain registered in Mercantile and doesn't belong to Microsoft Nepal
Microsoft.com.np – Domain registered in Mercantile and doesn’t belong to Microsoft Nepal

There some many sites that are still running under the other norms of ethic. While in many of the cases, you can not even register a domain name based on your official name but on the other hand if you have friends in Mercantile you can just register whatever domain you want. In this article we try to collect information about such websites which are in one or the other way related to Nepal (just the word or the work) and we assume they are still under the norms of ethics, what are big people earing at? Let see some of them!

Google Nepal: Heard about it thousand times right? GoogleNepal.com.np, yes you’re right. Did you hear about googlenepal.co.cc ? Yes Google Nepal also runs the advertising Google ads on their site along with hundreds of other articles of course copied from other content sites. (Update: seems like they removed this domain recently.)

Don’t see whois records of Google.com.np, we all know Google is the Internet. (Google has set up their own resources for .com.np; but this is not verified in whois records except the nameservers)

Yahoo Nepal: Yes, Yahoo Nepal delivers SLC result information, do you believe this? Don’t worry yahoo.com.np and yahoonepal.com.np is registered in Mercantile by Vishnu Dhakal of Yahoo Int. P. ltd. So, next is your turn to open a company called IBM (say Institute of Business Mgmt) and get ibm.com.np, seriously you can try it.

Microsoft Nepal: Oops, the site microsoft.com.np is not available but is already registered by Nepali Softworks in Mercantile. We hope the registration is in terms of Policy of MOS.

Now, let’s dig into cogency of some of the terms and policies that Mercantile, the only .np domain registrar in Nepal, has made.  Is Mercantile breaching its own law? What are Mercantile’s .np Domain rules & Government Policies about our country’s ccTLD. Terms and Conditions Policy for domain name registration under NP ccTLD here.

# First Come – First Served basis (except in cases where it infringes upon a registered tradenames and the conditions listed) – So, why not monitoring if Yahoo is really there in Nepal? What about international trademarks and patents getting a Nepali domain via a local company with the same name as an MNC but no relation with them at all?

# Legalities: The question arises that why Nepalese eCommerce site are not on our country’s own ccTLD, they are going Top Level Domain (TLDs like .com) only. Is the rule flexible with Mercantile? Established companies should go an alternative domain name with ccTLD url option as well, say why not thamel.com.np along with thamel.com.

This will be beneficial to keep traffic flow within the country as well, saving bandwidth and dollars in turn.

(Sadly: Thamel.com.np was registered in 2001, even before Mercantile took the official responsibility with newer .np registration scheme, and this domain is no way related with the eCommerce giant thamel.com)

Terms and conditions for registering .np domain names with Mercantile
Terms and conditions for registering .np domain names with Mercantile

Few suggestions or grounds to improve for Nepalese domain Scenario:

1. A Little fee for .np domain: Domain registrations under .NP ccTLD is free of cost. Maybe they can charge a small fee for .np domain registration so that they could maintain the database well and provide more options to it. This may also check the registration of spammy register-and-leave-it domains.

2. More DNS Options: Right now there are no features in MOS NP other than editing nameservers (NS1 and NS2) to point your domain name to the hosting webspace. Because of this many users are getting confused, even to use a simple Google Apps options they need to create a cname and MX records.

3. Remove inactive & booked domains: There are hundred, if not thousands, of .np domain names registered just to book a domain URL. Many people have registered to book their domains and got lost afterwards. This is totally insane; and Mercantile should remove such nameshake and inactive-for-years domain names; of course, they can contact the registrant before acting upon.

4. Ease the process of Domain modification: First a password and then a domain ID for the domain name you want to modify – maybe this is a security put forth to comply with a single user having multiple domains; but they still have room to improve and display domain in a easier way.

5. Let established sites get .np without much hassle: As discussed above with the case of thamel.com. Really, such site owner should also take some initiatives from better ICT perspective. Why not have some Nepalese flavor in the internet?

6. Invite for companies to handle domains: Mercantile should invite and give responsibilities to other IT companies (as granted by the Government) for Nepalese domain (.NP) name management and registration. Fair schemes, more choices for better web environment in the country.

7. Let domain registration be embedded with hosting services: Since Mercantile’s web hosting is costly for individuals/ personal users,  people tend to purchase hosting accounts from cheaper ones. But still there is no shortcut way to register the domain while purchasing (all-in-single package like thing) the hosting. Many people know what API is, right? Maybe MOS give #1 reason of little fees on this case as well.

8. Bring back REGISTER.COM.NP: Dedicated domain URL gives some meaning here rather than going back to MOS’s own site. This domain was in use for few time and then again closed. It is a good idea to bring it back. We deserve some aesthetic values, don’t we?

All what Nepalese Internet wants is Nepalese context, internal traffic inside the country, promotion of our own country level TLD while if some guys are really rich can still purchase .nepal TLD and help Nepal compute better. Let’s prepare to celebrate 2013 as Information Technology Year in Nepal. Suggestions and comments please.

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10 Comments
  1. Wilson says

    Great exploration, time to think about Nepalese internet scenario.mercantile should follow these suggestions for improvements

  2. Roshan says

    Agree with removal of inactive domains (3) and ease of domain modification (4), but paid domain in the context of country like Nepal with such less internet penetration doesn’t make sense – not at all for personal domains. Rather there could be tie up with global hosting companies to start greater internet presence and awareness. A good example is the Indian SME initiation 
    http://www.indiagetonline.in/ to get more people online. 

    Having said the the ethics of business in a country that is undeveloped and has poor brand awareness is a subject of discussion in other areas too. Take example of how we learn – we have many colleges with same name as internationally reputed colleges, established without tie-ups. Should we have such institutions and should we allow .edu.np for such institution? 

    1. Team TechSansar.com says

      Absolutely in agreement with you, the little fees we raised was for helping registrar to maintain a clean database of domains and provide more SMS options as little as 100 rupees.
      Like in India, time will come for NEPAL as well so rejoins get ready, maybe Google.a next venture is Nepal after UK, India and Australia for SME SMB or SoHo

  3. Niran Maharjan says

    On a visit to Mercantile Office for domain registration, last month they told based on this dispute that they will be considering those domains registered after 2001, and they are on to removing those domains that violates their TaC.

    So hope they are doing something useful for all but surely needs pressure to MOS.

  4. Mohammad Tajim says

    I think its time we get a TLD for Nepal

    Earlier india had .co.in but now they have moved to .in only

    Probably, Gov should apply for “.np” TLD only….  I know it costs money and this GOV. isn’t going to do anything..

    So, maybe few IT companies joining together and crowd-sourcing funds can register “.np” TLD from ICANN

    It costs $1,20,000 to register a TLD from ICANN and and its a big money but you could charge a little amount of money for .np domains and re-coup that amount easily later.

  5. zeevas says

    Extremely Good Analysis by the techsansar team !! Continue this excellence. I have also suffered a lot due to the poor management at .np CCTLD department of MOS . Poor Poor 🙁

  6. Nabaraj Poudel says

    Really great post. We need to aware on this matter. Mercantile registering many domains out of TOC and many are reserved  and not in use.

  7. BINOD says

    Cool Article Dude, i have seen mercentile very closely,
    FIRST CASE: even in my case i registered my personal domain fer years back and when i tried to search my own whois in mos site 3 months back it said the domain is free for registration {LOL}, immediately called mos then they took abt 3 days to get back my record.  they are doing as they wish.
    NEXT CASE:  for some random domain i tried using so called source force method. just to taste them, i used the help of some person there n registered a random domain n they did it as well, [ just tested them how they work on rule][lol]

    and u r talking about ICANN. seen ICANN as well… they r also the shit just the persons there r for earning money without serving. they r also doing nothing….. i have a big frustation with these ppl as well….. gys until n unless we youngsters dont unite together to work for IT nothing is going to happen in this country. 

  8. Rabins Sharma Lamichhane says

    Actually, GoogleNepal.co.cc was run by me a very long ago. But due to Brand and name issues, I had to remove ads. It was also working good but after .co.cc domain dissolved, my site also goes buried under the grave of Internet.

  9. Prabin KC says

    Sahi ho

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