Local Language Support To Be Mandatory For All Mobile Phones!
Soon, all mobile phones (Smartphones as well as feature phones) will need to support display of content in 22 official Indian languages and provide input capability for three languages— Hindi, English and one local language.
Earlier last month we had reported that DEITy (Department of Electronics & Information Technology) has sent a draft amendment to Bureau of Indian Standards to make all feature phones being sold in India, compatible with at least one local language.
According to Livemint, the government plans to make these standards mandatory for all mobile manufacturers six months from now!
R.S. Sharma, Chairman, TRAI said, We are working with BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) and ICA (Indian Cellular Association) for formulation of the guidelines for including Indian languages in mobiles. It will be finalized in next two months”
This move is considered crucial for furthering Government’s Digital India mission, so that all citizens irrespective of whether they know English or not should be able to access and use eServices provided by the Government.
Apart from local language support, the specifications will also require all mobile phones to have a minimum of 4MB of memory, of which 2MB will be reserved for Indian language support.
While most smartphones do not have an issue with memory problems, low end feature phones will need to make these changes to accommodate the said specifications.
For first time mobile phone users, this move is going to definitely be useful as local languages will help them wade around their mobile phones features easily!
Efforts from the Government
As part of the initiative, Government will translate all its websites from English to a local language which will require a lot of effort. They are trying to put a policy in place to generalize the translation process, which will be through machines having a database of regional languages.
Algorithms will be used to convert English to local language without getting rid of the meaning of the sentences. The Government has contemplated a timeline of next eight months to successfully translate all websites.
About 100 Central Government websites are expected to be converted into local languages. Once the handset makers are also able to include the local languages, readers will be able to access the websites in their choice of language.
Citizens staying in rural parts of the nation will heavily profit from this move, because they are usually deprived of all such important needs and technology. This will enable them to get access to government websites and information related to government services from the comfort of their homes.