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Two new software tools from C-DAC

Times of India
April 02, 2011

The city-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) will release two new software on its foundation day on Monday. 'TaxoGrid' is mainly for applications in drug discovery and 'Namescape' is a search engine used on a pilot-basis in the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project of the Union government.

Addressing the media on Saturday, Rajan T Joseph, director general, C-DAC, said, "The two tools have been developed by the bioinformatics and the multilingual departments of C-DAC. Both are extremely vital technologies that will impact the sciences as well as the masses in a big way."

According to Rajendra Joshi, head of the bioinformatics group of C-DAC, "The tool will be of immense help in vaccine development. Drug discovery usually takes five to 20 years with billion dollar investment. TaxoGrid will marginally help the discover time, but it will be a big contribution."

The tool will mainly be helpful to pharmaceutical companies in their re-search laboratories as well as those companies who are involved in vaccine development. The Bioinformatics group is looking for a tie up with the city-based National Institute of Virology in the future. The users will get infrastructure as well as technical support from C-DAC.

The software deployed for the UIDAI is a detailed search engine for identifying similar sounding words and variants in spellings of one word. Mahesh Kulkarni, programme coordinator of the Graphics and Intelligence based Script Technology (GIST), which developed this tool, said, "Its application in the Indian context is tremendous, especially with the public utility services such as the UIDA programme, the election commission, income tax department, passport and visa services among others."

Kulkarni further said, "For instance, there are 67 variants of 'Chowdhary'. If a person searches this name, then normally he/she would get only the results of the spelling typed in the search engine. But, 'Namescape' would give results of all 67 variants. In UIDAI, the search would help avoid duplication."