Digital Content Language to Go Desi with e-Bhasha

October 28, 2014 Courtesy : The Economic Times

The Economic Times
Title : Digital Content Language to Go Desi with e-Bhasha
Author: Neha Alawadhi
Location: New Delhi
Article Date: 10/27/2014

With the buzz around its Digital India programme building up, the government is working to make online content available for Indian citizens in their own language. The e-Bhasha platform, which will help develop and disseminate digital language content to India’s largely non-English speaking population, will be rolled out as a mission mode project.

A preliminary review of the project took place last week, the detailed project report (DPR) for e-Bhasha is being “fine-tuned” and is likely to be ready in the next two months, said Department of Electronics and In formation Technology ((DeitY) secretary Ram Sewak Sharma.

The platform was announced by President Pranab Mukherjee in June while addressing a joint session of both houses of Parliament to outline the agenda of the Narendra Modi government. E-bhasha will take the form of a government MMP, which are multi-crore rupees projects typically focusing on one aspect of egovernance such as pensions, banking, insurance or judiciary.

Sharma has however, suggested implementing the project differently from a typical MMP.

“In e-Bhasha you are developing tools and technology for promoting the local languages. So it’s a collection of tools, collection of technologies. It is not one simple monolithic project which is being implemented,” he said.

He said instead of developing all the technology and tools for local language content in-house, DeitY will look at contracting research to organizations, institutions, and individuals. “We want outcome based research. At the end of the story, I must have these tools which will be useful and which I will now give it to the country (saying) these are the tools for you to use,” he said.

The research will be handled by DeitY’s Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) division, which promotes and develops language-related technology.

“This seems to be a very good thing. Not all the technologies can be developed by government. It will also be good for competition...Some simple measures on the output side and serious compliance monitoring will really benefit a lot of people who would otherwise not have had access to language technology,” said Rajeevlochan Phadke, President and chief technology officer at LinguaNext, which develops language enabling technology.

India had 213 million Internet users until last year, and if local language is provided on the Internet, there will be an aggregated increase of 24% in the Internet users in the country, with most of the increase in use driven by rural areas, according Internet and Mobile Association of India’s “Local Language Report 2013”.


View More