The Times Of India
March 11, 2013
Now, all state websites, government publications and e-governance services will have a standard font for Marathi language.
The state government had commissioned a project for the Centre for development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to develop a standardised Marathi font. The font, named 'Yashomudra', aims to bring uniformity across all state departments. It will be released on May 1, i.e. the state's foundation day.
The Graphics and Intelligence based Script Technology (GIST) group of C-DAC has been working on this font since 2009 when the state government issued a government resolution (GR) on use of Marathi language in its notices and services to citizens. The GR had specific instructions on use of Marathi language and the chief minister and the GIST group coined the thought of having a standard Marathi font for the state government.
Mahesh Kulkarni, who is heading the GIST group at C-DAC, said, "At present, there are several fonts available, but there is no uniformity. Also, the state government thought the need to have its official font which could be used in all its websites, online and offline documentation, e-governance services."
C-DAC officials said that a standard font will reduce chances of discrepancies as some characters in the Devnagri script are written differently in Marathi and Hindi. Kulkarni said that for some characters the shapes of letters differ if different fonts are used. "This may create discrepancies in reading. A standard font will reduce it."
Kulkarni said that the font will be an open source application, which means that users can freely download it on their computers, iPads, tablets as well as cell phones. The font will also have styles including bold and italics.
Kulkarni said that it is not mandatory for users to use this font. "However, it is recommended that the font is used widely and largely so that the basic aim of bringing uniformity across the state is achieved. At government level, the font will be consciously used."
The font was named 'Yashomudra' after Yashwantrao Chavan, the first chief minister of Maharashtra, as this year is also being celebrated as the 100th birth centenary of the leader. "The font was to be released on Marathi day celebrated on February 27. However, we are still doing the testing for the font and hence we will now release it on May 1, the Maharashtra day," Kulkarni said.