May 1, 2008 marked the 49th birthday of Gujarat. Government of India’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology celebrated the Gujarat Day by launching Gujarati Software Tools and Fonts in Ahmedabad.
Government of India’s Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) Programme and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) have worked with leading IT Companies in private sector under a unique Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for this initiative.
The launch was held at Gujarat Vishwakosh Trust Auditorium. The special function started with the Jay Jay Garvi Gujarat song and Lighting of Lamp. Shri. Bharat Bhushan, JS&FA, DIT welcome the guests and spoke on “National Roll out plan on language CD as a part of Indian Language Computing Initiatives”. Shri. S. Ramakrishnan – Director General C-DAC enlightened the audiences on work on Indian languages in his talk “Indian language technologies – Today & Tomorrow.”
Ms. Swaran Lata – Director, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology spoke on the Role of TDIL in language technology development. Shri Raj Kumar, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat thanked the Union Government for the wonderful gift to Gujarati people on the auspicious day and requested for covering legacy system data as well.
Sushri Neeta Shah, Director – eGovernance, Gujarat Informatics Ltd recollected her long pending desire of programming in Gujarati and her experience of working on bi-lingual projects. She emphasized the need for content creation in Gujarati and requested CDAC to covering maximum software tools and investing in support for further proliferation of these tools. The audience was spell bound by her wonderful Gujarati speech.
Sushri Kirtida Shah, Head of Gujarati Department, Bhasha Bhavan, Gujarat University was happy to note the these tools will help to improve the confidence levels of students in Gujarati. She also urged the audience to speak in their language first. Kritida Shah’s speech struck a chord with the august gathering.
Chief Guest Shri Kumarpal Desai, noted author and trustee behind leading organizations like Gujarati Vishwakosh Trust, Jay Bhikhu Trust, Institute of Jainology etc released the Gujarati language software tools and fonts CD and sites for download. He was happy to note that Gujarati culture would remain ever-alive as the fear of IT and English taking over IT have been addressed by CDAC. His Hindi speech and example of Vivekanandji impressed one and all. He noted that Gujarati language’s march to digital century commences from this day.
Shri Mahesh Kulkarniji, Programme Coordinator, C-DAC, GIST gave an demo of the Gujarati language CD. The demo was very interactive and invoked response from people on either side of the dais. Shri Maheshji highlighted that Gujaratilexicon dictionary and spellchecker were the best tools amongst all Indian languages. He spoke about Shri R P Chandaria’s contribution to the project was well. Children’s game Tuxpaint was a big hit with the audience. Shri Kulkarniji presented the vote of thanks.
The launch concluded by Hand-Over of CD to Media and Key Guests. It was followed by High Tea-Snacks. The launch was successful and well-attended inspite of scorching heat of Ahmedabad.
Gujarati Software CD contains the following categories of tools:
1. Tools for common man
2. Tools to enhance the productivity
3. Beta tools
Gujaratilexicon – Utkarsh and Magnet Technologies are proud to be associated with this government initiative. Our contribution includes:
1. Guajratilexicon Dictionaries : Gujarati – Gujarati, English – Gujarati, Gujarati – English
2. Gujaratilexicon Thesaurus, Antonyms and Idioms
3. Saras Spell Checker
4. Localized Open Office – Office Suite
5. Localized Thunderbird – Email Client
6. Localized Mozilla Firefox – Browser
7. Quick Quiz – Game
8. Localized Tuxpaint – Game
9. Localized Drupal – Content Management System
Magnet Technologies is also proud to have provided the liaison and ground support for the launch. Like CDAC, we are also working towards the vision of spreading benefits of information technology for the common man. The mission is simple : ‘Content creation in local language’. Local content will form basis of future initiatives like Machine Translation, Text to Speech, Natural Language Tools etc.
The CD also contains :
1. Bharateeya Open Office
2. Sunbird Calendar
3. 400 Plus Fonts
5. Transliteration Tools etc.
Shri Mahesh Kulkarni noted that they are confident that this will drive the contents creation in Indian languages which is the basic raw material for development of futuristic technologies. They are geared-up to release the language software tools and fonts CD for all the 22 scheduled languages. So far 10 language CD’s have been released and others are in pipeline.