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Government mandates support for Indian Languages in all Mobile Phones from July’17

Using the regional languages in mobile phones have been opposed by the Indian Cellular Association

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New Delhi, October 28, 2016: The Centre has decided to support for Indian languages in all the mobile phones that will be sold in the country from July 1, 2017. The Ministry of Electronics and IT has mandated a standard that is required by the phone companies to support a third (regional) language along with the usual English and Hindi.

According to PTI report, this step of the government has been opposed by the Indian Cellular Association. The new standard will meet the objectives of Digital India.

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“Although there is expected to be an increase of 10% in the cost of the phone and there would be certain challenges in developing requisite testing facilities, it is suggested that we may mandate the standard with effect from July 1, 2017, as proposed,” said an official to PTI.

The mention of the support required to input text in any one of the Indian languages in mobile phones by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in August had already sent a wave of tension among the phone manufacturers.

In opposition, the companies have argued that though this movement is well intentioned but it is difficult to implement it especially when it comes to feature phones because the companies decide the logistics and inventory are planned and decided on a global level and will have to be specially customized for India- in fact for each state with regard to the new standard.

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As per the given rough estimate- there are approximately 1 billion mobile phone connections in the country, out of them around 70% are feature phones and the remaining are the Smartphones.

“It was felt that vernacular language support will help further penetration of mobile phones in rural areas, where the people may be more literate in their vernacular languages than English,“ said the official to PTI.

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NITI Aayog has advised the ministry to rethink their decision because there are several challenges with the new standard which have been noted by the ministry which will increase the cost of the phone for the citizens. For instance, the RAM capacity of the phone will have to be heightened and several design changes also will have to be done to support the third language.

– prepared by Chesta Ahuja, NewsGram.  Twitter: @ahuja_chesta

 

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.