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   Hindi Software Tools & Fonts Released in Public Domain  

New Delhi, June 20, 2005

Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Hon'ble Chairperson, National Advisory Council (NAC) released a set of Hindi Software Tools and Fonts in a CD for free public distribution at a function organized by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), an autonomous Society under the Department of Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MC&IT), Government of India at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi today. The release was part of a national initiative by the DeitY, MC&IT to proliferate the use of Indian languages in Information Technology.

Speaking on the occasion, Smt. Sonia Gandhi stated that "Information Technology has emerged as an all-pervasive technology to impact the lives of people across the globe" and "to ensure the complete reach of the benefits of the Information Revolution in India, people should be in a position to operate and benefit from the use of computers in all Indian languages". Commenting that the release of the free Hindi Software Tools and Fonts was a progressive step in the right direction, she expressed confidence that it would "help in bridging the digital divide, in turn empowering the people belonging to all strata of society, speaking different languages of the country".

The CD contains tools developed by C-DAC, Modular Infotech, Cyberscape Multimedia Ltd, Priya Informatics, IIIT Hyderabad, Cadgraf Digitals System Ltd, C K Technologies, Prologix and Softview. The tools include Hindi True Type Fonts (TTF) with Font Driver, UNICODE compliant Open Type Fonts (OTF) for Hindi, Hindi Language Multifont Keyboard Engine for TTF, Hindi UNICODE compliant Keyboard Driver, BharateeyaOO.o in Hindi, Firefox browser in Hindi, GAIM-Multiprotocol Messenger in Hindi, Columba-Hindi E-mail Client, Hindi OCR, Hindi Dictionary, Hindi Spellchecker, Generic fonts code and storage code converter for Hindi, Assan typing tutor for Hindi & English, Integrated word processor, Hindi language translation tool and text to speech system and so on.

As part of the programme, the Hindi version of the Indian Language Data Centre (ILDC) website ( was also launched from which the Hindi tools and fonts are downloadable by the public and the developer community. Smt. Gandhi emphasized the role played by Information Technology towards bridging the knowledge gap by facilitating the acquisition, absorption and dissemination of knowledge. "There should be a continuing effort to tap global knowledge, assimilate and create knowledge of local relevance, to make it available for the benefit of people at large" and the need to "motive private sector through market incentives to contribute to this critical area" she added.

Speaking at the release function, Thiru Dayanidhi Maran, Hon'ble Minister for Communications and IT, Government of India said that the release marked "another major milestone in the fulfillment of the National Agenda articulated in the Common Minimum Programme of our Government within a short span of one year". Commenting that "while commercial products have their place in any economy, at our current stage of nascent growth of domestic IT consumption, distribution of fonts and other software tools freely will have the potential to unleash the creative capacities of our people to make use of these in ways we cannot even dream of - as the experience of advanced countries have shown", he expressed pleasure at the shaping up of the language technology mission as "laboratory products are converted to utility products for the benefits of the common man". This mission will also accelerate the PC penetration relevance of telecom and broadband revolution in rural areas and trigger a range of applications and contents including those in e-Governance and education to be locally meaningful", he added.

Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, Minister of State for Communications and IT thanked the dignitaries for their active support to the cause of Indian language computing and extended an invitation to like-minded individuals/ organizations to contribute to the TDIL programme for the greater progress of the country in the field of IT.

An audio-visual presentation outlining a brief history of language computing development in India and demonstrating the contents of the released CD of the Hindi Software Tools and Fonts was also showcased at the function.

Earlier, Mr. Brijesh Kumar, Secretary, DeitY welcomed the dignitaries and gave a brief introduction on the language initiatives of the DeitY. Two well-Known experts in the field of language computing, Prof. Rajeev Sangal, Director, IIIT Hyderabad and Prof. R. M. K. Sinha from IIT, Kanpur also spoke on the R&D roadmap in the field. Also present on the occasion was Mr. S. Ramakrishnan, Director General, C-DAC.