Introduction to TDILProgramme
India is a multilingual country, with 22 constitutionally recognized languages and 11 scripts. In view of the fact that a small number of people know English in India, others are deprived of the advantages of IT development. The benefits of information technology can reach to the common people, only when software tools and human machine interface systems are available in one’s own language. To enable wide proliferation of Information and communication Technologies (ICT) in Indian languages, tools, products and resources should be freely available to the general public.
Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) Programme initiated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India has the objective to develop information-processing tools to facilitate human machine interaction in Indian languages and to develop technologies to access multilingual knowledge resources.
Objectives of TDIL
1. Research and Development of Technology, Software Tools and Applications for Indian Languages.
2. Proliferation of Language Technology products and solutions.
3. Development of Standards for linguistic resources, tools and applications for interoperability.
Initiatives have been taken for long term research for the development of the following major areas like
1. Machine Translation System, using which data available in English can be translated to various Indian languages or data can be translated from one Indian language to other Indian language. Only limited Indian languages are in implementation mode.
2. Optical Character Recognition System using which printed text matter can be converted in editable format.
3. On-line Handwriting Recognition System using which handwritten data on a tablet device can be converted to editable format.
4. Cross-lingual Information Access System using which, a user can enter queries in languages they are familiar with and retrieve the document in the same language although the documents are originally created in other language.
5. Speech Processing System using which, local language digital text can be read out by machine (TTS) and spoken words in a domain can be recognized.
The Department of Information Technology has commenced a national initiative called National Rollout Plan aggregated Indian language software tools and fonts. They are being made available through a web based Indian Language Data Centre ILDC
The Department also promotes Language Technology standardization through active participation in International and national standardization bodies such as ISO, UNICODE, World-Wide-Web consortium (W3C) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), ELRA, to ensure adequate representation of Indian languages in existing and future language technology standards.
The consistent initiatives of Government of India have fuelled the growth of industry in this sector. The spin-off of these efforts has resulted into increasing interest of MNCs to look at India as a large market for Language Technologies. India is, thus, poised to emerge as Multilingual Computing hub. The above efforts will also seed the domestic ICT application development in Indian languages.