Mumbai, October 11, 2004
Centre for Development
of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)
has announced the launch of its "janabhaaratii"
project entitled "Localization of Free/ Open Source
Software: Development, Deployment and Community Building"
to contribute to the community efforts in developing a software
suite based on GNU/Linux to be made available in Indian
languages. The project is being funded by the Technology
Development in Indian Languages (TDIL)
group of the Department
of Information Technology, Ministry of Communications
and IT, Government of India.
The primary objective of
the project is to enable the wide spread use of Indian language
computing through Free/Open Source systems and applications
localized in Indian languages. It aims at inviting, building
and supporting community initiatives to produce and disseminate
free/ open source software systems, applications and content
to help proliferate the use of IT in our society, breaking
language barriers and through affordable means to bridge
the so-called digital divide. The project will cover the
development of technology to suit Indian languages, its
dissemination and deployment into diverse areas such as
home use, mass applications, education, rural areas, infokiosks,
cybercafes, e-governance, content creation and so on.
The project inherits and
will enhance the access and usability of the resources and
capabilities garnered by C-DAC in Indian language technologies
over the last 15 years. C-DAC, Mumbai has been at the forefront
of the Indian language technology mission with its INDIX
project for making GNU/Linux operating systems specifically
intelligent about indic scripts and provide the world with
a more generic approach to deal with these complex scripts.
(Many of the fonts developed under the INDIX project are
now also available to the public from the TDIL website-http://www.tdil.mit.gov.in/)
Further, the project stands
on the shoulders of several teams working on the localization
of GNU/Linux, namely, the IITs, IIITs, Indlinux, ankurbangla, HBCSE
India, and Corporations like IBM and so on. Several Resource Centres supported by the TDIL
have also stacked up a large amount of localization resources.
The project envisages the threading together of these efforts,
to present to the community a suite of software components
in ready usable form through Open Source under GPL/LGPL
Dr. Alka Irani, C-DAC,
Mumbai is the chief investigator for the project. Prof.
Jitendra Shah from Veermata Jijabai Technical Institute
(VJTI) will also be collaborating on the project, and has
joined C-DAC, Mumbai.
The nature and the scope
of the project being such, C-DAC also extends an invitation
to language specialists, linguists, computer specialists,
users, governments (Centre and States), academia (faculty
and students) and others to join this mission and bring
the benefits of the IT revolution to the majority of the
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