India is a multilingual country, with 22 official languages and 12 scripts. In India only about 5% people know English and rest are deprived of benefits of information technology development. The benefits of information technology can reach to the common man only when software tools and human machine interface systems are available in people’s own languages. To enable wide proliferation of ICT in Indian languages, tools, products and resources should be freely available to the general public.
The Department has taken a major initiative ‘National Roll-Out Plan’ for wider proliferation of Indian language Software Tools and Fonts.
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 BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) to ensure adequate representation of Indian languages in existing and future language technology standards.
Initiatives have been taken for long term research for development of Machine Translation System, Optical Character Recognition, On-line Handwriting Recognition System, Cross-lingual Information Access and Speech Processing in Indian languages.
The consistent initiatives of Government 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.