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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

Representational image. Flickr

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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Iran invites Pakistan to join Chabahar project with India

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement in 2016

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
  • Iran has invited Pakistan to join Chabahar port project
  • It is a very crucial port of great importance
  • India, Iran and Afghanistan have already signed a trilateral agreement in 2016

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has invited Pakistan to participate in the Chabahar Port project that connects India to Afghanistan, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, a leading Pakistani daily reported on Tuesday.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The move may be seen as Zarif’s bid to allay concerns here over the Indian involvement in the Iranian port, Dawn online reported. The Iranian minister also, meanwhile, extended the invitation to China.

“We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar,” Zarif, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Monday, according to the daily.

India, Iran and Afghanistan signed a trilateral agreement in 2016 to jointly develop the Chabahar port, opening a new strategic transit route between the three nations and other Central Asian nations, bypassing Pakistan. In November 2017, India delievered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port.

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

Zarif had earlier held bilateral talks with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Asif and addressed a trade conference. The visiting Foreign Minister is being accompanied by a large trade delegation from Iran.

He also said that Gwadar Port and Chabahar Port needed to be linked through sea and land routes for development of deprived Eastern and South-eastern Iran and South Western Pakistan. “We are taking measures to do that and there is an open invitation to Pakistan to participate in that,” Zarif said.

Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons

He also said that the Chabahar port project was not meant to “encircle Pakistan … strangulate anybody”, adding that Iran would not allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from its territory, much like Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used against Iran.

Zarif likened Iran’s relations with India to Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia. “Our relations with India, just like Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia, are not against Islamabad as we understand Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran.” IANS