Startup India asks entrepreneur to give up domain name
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National Internet Exchange of India is seeking to cancel the domain name of a Delhi-based company, Startup India Advisory Pvt. Ltd, citing its similarity with the Centre’s pet Startup India programme website, said a media report.

According to Moneycontrol, NIXI has shot off a letter to the owner of the company saying that its domain name, startupindia.in, could be mistaken for startupindia.gov.in, which is the government’s official website

The letter said the “domain is misleading and is in violation with the Startup India programme.” NIXI is acting on the request of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.

The entrepreneur, who had registered the site in February 2014, runs an advisory firm for early-stage startups. The private company-owned website has also put up a disclaimer mentioning that it has no connection with the government initiative.

The media report also quoted experts saying that the in such cases, where a governmental body issues a directive, the person with the domain name is bound to surrender it.

StartupIndia.org and startup-india.org are two more domains that are similar to the government’s site.

“NIXI only acts if someone, such as a government department, asks for it. NIXI does not have any kind of power vested within that it can hold, block or transfer a domain. But whenever a government entity gives it some kind of a directive, NIXI has to act,” the report quoted a senior government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Emails queries to the company asking for comments did not elicit any response at the time of writing this report.

The ‘Startup India, Stand up India’ initiative, an action plan for emerging ventures in the country, was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2016.

Apart from financial support of a Rs 10,000-crore fund of funds, the plan is aimed to ease various regulatory and legal challenges faced by Indian startups.

According to the programme a startup is “an entity incorporated in India not prior to five years, with an annual turnover not exceeding Rs 25 crore in the last five financial years, and working towards innovation, development, deployment, and commercialisation of new products, processes or services driven by technology or intellectual property.”

The guidelines also said that a startup will be eligible for tax benefits only after it has obtained a certification from the inter-ministerial board set up for such purpose.

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