Wednesday January 16, 2019

Technology to bring Indian languages together

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New Delhi: India is developing and rising in all spheres be it infrastructure, economy, education or women empowerment. The government is making sincere efforts to usher in changes in all domains. The diversity of our country needs no explanation though with this diversity comes diverse problems to deal with.

One of the biggest issues since the independence of India has been the problem of communication due to its multi-lingual societies as the number of Indian languages is simply astounding. With over 1.25 billion people and more than a thousand languages (and dialects), India is one of the most diverse nations in this aspect.

India now needs to build a bridge amongst its language-based communities; and in this age of technology, the medium is supposed to be tech friendly.

Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MC&IT) has initiated ‘Technology Development for Indian Languages’ programme, developing information processing tools and technologies to enhance human interaction with technology without any language barrier.

The ministry is creating and accessing multilingual knowledge resources for Indian languages and integrating them to develop innovative user products and services. People of India are getting attracted to use regional languages on their respective phones and computers.

The ministry is creating and accessing multilingual knowledge resources for Indian languages and integrating them to develop innovative user products and services.

These language-friendly technologies are being developed to empower and facilitate people to have easy access to developing telecom and internet facilities.

The programme promotes language technology standardization through active participation in international and national standardization bodies such as ISO, UNICODE, World-Wide-Web consortium (W3C) and BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), to ensure adequate representation of Indian languages in existing and future language technology standards.

Though, these technologies are slowly budding to facilitate multi-lingual bridges of communication, how they would help bring about the change in people’s perception of feeling linguistically disoriented, is the question.

These language-friendly technologies are being developed to empower and facilitate people to have easy access to developing telecom and internet facilities.

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad pointed out the ways these technologies will bring change.

“A number of initiatives to develop tools, like language CDs and keyboard drivers for android based mobile devices, technologies like machine translation, optical character recognition, cross-lingual information, text to speech, automatic speech recognition etc. and standards like Unicode, web standards, speech standards, corpus standards and natural language processing standards, have been taken.”

With easy access to technology in regional Indian languages, people are getting more interested in learning new tools as now, they can understand and communicate in a simpler and better ways.

The inflow of information for agriculture, climate, welfare and health etc. is rising as people now get all their queries answered in the regional language they understand.

These efforts are expected to empower regional dialects and, in return, people would not struggle to understand languages alien to them. By building this bridge of technology and languages, the age old animosity due to linguistic extremes should subside, allowing people to converse in their preferred dialects without any hindrance.

This would help the flow of knowledge in regional dialects, bringing language independence within people, aiding them fill the linguistic gap in the country. These governmental efforts aiming to reduce social disparity due to the multilingual fabric of India is being seen in good light by people who were, till now, unable to take full advantage to technology due to the linguistic barrier.

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System for Predicting Lightning to be Launched by Government

new tools will help IMD to disseminate forecasts and warnings on time," he said adding the new website and apps will be ready for launch by June 2019.

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Representational Image .Panorama photography taken during a lightning storm over Bucharest, Romania. Image Source:Wikipedia Common

In view of life-threatening thunderstorms and lightning during the pre-monsoon season, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has decided to implement an end-to-end prediction system for predicting thunderstorms or lightning by April 2019.

“Last year, during the pre-monsoon season a series of thunderstorm or dust storm affected the northern states and claimed about 200 lives. Hence, the IMD will be implementing an end-to-end prediction system for predicting thunderstorms or lightning by April 2019,” Ministry of earth sciences said in a release on Monday.

Union Minister of Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and IMD are already working on prediction tools for thunderstorm or lightning.

“IITM Pune has already installed 48 lightning sensors around the country which can locate the thunderstorm/lightning activities in real time. The institute has also developed a mobile app called ‘DAMINI’ to give alerts on impending lightning activity over the area,” Vardhan said while addressing the media here.

Vardhan also informed that currently IITM Pune and IMD are developing a new website for IMD along with the mobile apps for farmers and city forecasts.

“These new tools will help IMD to disseminate forecasts and warnings on time,” he said adding the new website and apps will be ready for launch by June 2019.

Vardhan said that the IMD, in a bid to further strengthen its observational network will install “10 new X-band weather radars” over north-west Himalayas (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand) by end of this year.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Government to launch system for predicting thunderstorms (IANS)

Also, as per the earth sciences ministry, 11 more C-band radars will be installed by IMD over the plains of India including one over Andaman Nicobar Islands and one over Lakshadweep Islands by 2020.

“In addition, IMD is installing 200 Automated Weather Stations (AWS) at District Agromet Units for providing weather services to farmers and another 200 AWS will be installed over major cities and towns for providing city-specific weather information and forecasts, it said.

“On the specific request from Kerala Government, IMD will also be installing 100 new AWS including rain-gauges to monitor weather activities in the state,” Vardhan’s office said.

In another initiative, Vardhan informed that IITM Pune with the help of IMD and Mumbai Municipal Corporation is installing a new dense rain-gauge network over Mumbai with 200 rain-gauges.

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In addition, 4 X-band radars will be also installed so that a merged rainfall data set at 2-kilometre resolution will be prepared and made available to the public in real time.

“This facility will help the city administration and general public to know the prevailing rainfall situation in the city in real-time. For this purpose, a mobile app has already been developed,” the Minister said. (IANS)