Standardization is the only means to unite the diversity of the Indian language arena to develop and maintain best practices in the field of languages. India has 22 constitutionally recognized languages and 12 scripts, it is therefore essential to have a common platform of standardization to develop and maintain best practices in the field of languages. TDIL Programme initiated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) is an apex body for the development and maintenance of standardization of Indian languages to achieve communication without language barrier in the field of ICT.
To maintain the universal sustainability and development of India and its living languages in the ICT system, TDIL is working in the field of standards so that its key pillars of Indian Languages scripts would be preserved while developing application for mass usage. TDIL is working for the development and enhancement of the standards in the following field with various international organizations:
1.UNICODE Standards- Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, is the voting member of the Unicode Consortium. All twelve Indian scripts namely; Bengali, Devanagari, Gujarati, Gurumukhi, Kannada, Malayalam, Meethi-Mayek, Odia, Ol-Chiki, Perso-Arabic, Tamil and Telugu are represented in Unicode. Two projects of Unicode are evolving under the umbrella of TDIL:
i) CLDR- It contains locale specific information that an operating system will typically provide to applications for six Indian languages namely Hindi, Bengali, Assamese, Nepali, Malayalam and Gujarati has been accepted by the Unicode CLDR Committee.
ii) Character Encoding- All scripts of Indian languages are represented in Unicode for global exchange of Data.
2. W3C Standards- W3C India Office proposes to work in close collaboration with all stakeholders of academia, government, industry and industry associations. India is a voting member of W3C and is the Advisory Committee Representative.
3. Keyboard standards –The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has published the Indian Standard - ‘Enhanced Inscript keyboard layouts’ (IS 16350: 2016). This standard specifies the character code-sets for representing Indian Languages and their scripts on digital medium. The standard covers code charts, characters and character names for 11 Indian scripts which cover 21 official languages of India. Additionally, this standard gives enhanced versions of the Inscript keyboard layouts and mapping of the code points with the respective keyboard layouts. The first Inscript keyboard standard was published by BIS in 1991 (IS 13194: 1991). These standards are the result of extensive efforts put into it by TDIL and C-DAC Gist.
4.Transliteration standards – TDIL Programme of MeitY, with other national and international organizations is working on transliteration projects so that major literary work done in one language gets transliterated to other Indian language.
5. SMS Standards- TDIL Programme of MeitY, is working to develop standards in Indian Languages SMS so that approximately 750 million mobile users in India will benefit. Service providers will not be able to leverage growing customer base in rural areas unless services are provided in local languages.
6.Speech Resources Standards - TDIL along with NCIST is working to develop the speech-standards so that the resources can be developed for Indian languages in standards. Speech corpora for all 22 constitutionally recognized languages are under development, so that, various applications can be developed for mass usage.
7. Language Resource Development – Working to develop the standards for electronic versions of language resource for Indian languages. A lot of work is in progress and under evolution for dictionaries, corpora etc.
Standardization delivers measurable benefits and establishes an international consensus on terminology, thus make technology transfer easier and safer.