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   C-DAC launches 'janabhaaratii'© Project Localization of Free/Open Source Software  
 

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 (TIFR), FSF 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 licences.

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 population.

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