The Department of Electronics & IT (DeitY), Government of India, is on the anvil of making it mandatory for all mobile handsets being manufactured or sold in India to come loaded with multi-language support feature. The step is taken to catalyze the ‘Digital India’ vision and to bring E-Governance within easy reach of every Citizen.
The move would have a momentous impact on the speed of governance and the way utilities and services such as education, health, permissions, licenses etc are accessed by citizens as only about 10% of Indians are supposedly conversant and comfortable in transacting in English language. Absence of multi-language support feature has been a major stumbling block in unleashing the full power of mobile handset and Digital India vision to utilize the power of mobile handsets as the “device of choice” for implementation for various E-Governance schemes.
This move comes as a result of months of persistent effort by Indian Cellular Association (ICA) led by its National President Pankaj Mohindroo who succeeded in convincing manufacturers about the need and desirability of introducing these features despite cost escalation and technology challenges on one hand and to recommend a viable solution for implementation of the same to the Government.
“I am very happy that our persistent efforts are going to bear fruits very soon. Provision of multi-language support in every mobile will catalyze Digital India program, make life of citizens convenient as accessibility to critical services and utilities will become extremely fast and transparent. In short, this is real empowerment of Citizens and I am happy that mobiles will become the new symbol of this new age empowerment,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, National President, Indian Cellular Association.
“I wish to thank both the industry as well as the government who have pro-actively acted on this matter in the Interest of the Nation” added Pankaj Mohindroo.
As per the scheme of things, DeitY has already Instructed the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to formally come out with an Indian Standard that could be used for implementation of the same. The final standard will be published soon after consultations with the Industry and other stakeholders as per the process followed at BIS. Nonetheless, some features which are likely to be standard features of all future handsets will be to have a minimum 4MB of memory out of which 2MB would be reserved for official Indian Languages support; message readability in would be provided for all 14 scripts and 22 official Indian languages and inputting of text would be available in English, Hindi and at least one additional Indian Language.