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All phones sold in India to have Indian language support feature

New Delhi: In a bid to realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ vision, promote Indian languages and bring E-Governance within easy reach of every citizen, the government is soon likely to make it mandatory for all mobile handsets being manufactured or sold in India to come loaded with multi-language support feature.

Department of Electronics & IT (DeitY) is likely to take the step in this regard which would have a momentous impact on the speed of governance, a press release issued by Indian Cellular Association (ICA) claimed.

The ICA press release added that the move would have an overwhelming impact on the speed of governance and the way utilities and services such as education, health, permissions, licenses etc. accessed by citizens as only about 10 percent 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.

“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, the president of ICA, the apex body of the mobile industry comprising manufacturers, brand owners, application & solution providers, distributors, retailers and eminent consumers of mobile handsets.

The ICA added that the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has been instructed 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.

The mandatory salient features of all future handsets will be following: a minimum 4MB of memory out of which 2MB would be reserved for official Indian Languages support; message readability for all 14 scripts and 22 official Indian languages; and texting would be available in English, Hindi and at least one additional Indian Language.

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