New Delhi, Oct 17 IBNS | 11 months ago

Move over Windows and Android! For a majority of non-English speaking Indians, a team of Indian developers have designed an operating system (OS) that works in Indian vernacular languages.


The system is expected to give fillip to the development of digital applications for non-English speaking users, has made it to this year's finale of the India Innovation Initiative National Fair, organized jointly by the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industries.

"The OS runs on cloud and what makes it unique is its application that it is compatible with other Operating Systems also. Even users of computing device such as mobile phones and laptops, which do not have language support, can use this application in any of the 22 Indian languages," said its Mumbai-based developers, Phani Bhushan, an IIT Kharagpur graduate and Gopal Pradhan, an alumnus of Government Engineering College, Bhubaneswar, in a statement on the sidelines of the finale, here on Thursday.

"The OS has a potential to include the non-English speaking population of the country into the digital revolution," said Mukesh Mathur, a scientist with Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.

It may be mentioned that because of the language barrier, a large percentage of Indian Population has not been included into the digital revolution and computer literacy in India was just 6.5 percent in 2012.

Statistics show that even among the 867 mobile phone users in the country, approximately 600 million users cannot use its applications because of the language barrier as they don't understand English.

"They use their mobile phones only for voice call and want applications in their own language," Bhushan said and claimed that their computing platform will enable programme developers to develop a common vernacular application and deliver them on any computing device such as Mobile /PC/Tablet.

According to him, vernacular applications for computers and mobile phones were not available because the available technology doesn't allow developer to create vernacular application. "It provides necessary widgets/libraries which are required to develop vernacular applications that can be accessed from any mobile/PC irrespective of their OS and language support. This will enable user to consume vernacular apps from their existing devices," he said.

"This product has the potential to resolve lot many government problems, such as the problems being faced at the implementation of the Unique Identity project," Padmaja Ruparel of Indian Angel Network and one of the jury members, said.

(Posted on 17-10-2013)