In June 2015, local language internet users in India were about 127 million. The 47% rise from previous years was attributed to the entry of smartphones in rural areas. (Report by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and market research firm IMRB International.)
The non-English speaking population in India constitute 88% of the population. Of this at least 50% speaks the national language, Hindi. Actually, India is home to 122 major languages and 1599 other languages.
So, is there a need for digital media to cater more to our regional audience?
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Article on Financial Times, from September 2016, penned by Amy Kazmin “Regional Indian language authors finding wider audiences”
TRAI tweaked the regulations to allow for year long data packs instead of 90 days, to bring down the cost and encourage internet use.
According to a Google prediction, of the 650 million users expected to be using Internet in India by 2020. The Hindu
Startups like Reverie, Indus OS, Process9 and Keypoint Technologies are betting big on this segment with regional language assistance. From a complete OS that supports languages like Hindi, Marathi and Tamil to building intuitive keyboards and a repository of apps, these companies are trying to bridge the rural-urban digital divide.Times of India article
Search engine in Hindi. http://www.raftaar.in/
HinKhoj, a Jaipur-based company that runs a crowd-sourced Hindi dictionary app
News aggregators such as InShorts, Way2News, Hike (News), and DailyHuntare focussing on the native Indian language sector to cater to the ‘next billion’ Indian Internet users.
Bhashaindia.com aims to involve those related to and interested in Indian language computing.
MEITY had called for a meeting between Microsoft, Google and Rediff to implement e-mail addresses in regional languages, starting with Hindi.
DataMail launched email addresses in Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali and Marathi
The Indic Project provides open source local language infrastructure for web, mobile and embedded applications.
The Indic Keyboard for the Android Operating System allows for text input in twenty three Indian languages, with transliteration support for many of them.
Noto is an open source font developed by Google and Monotype that aims to create a homogeneous font for all the languages in the Unicode standard.
Google is particularly active in creating products from the ground up meant just for India.
There is also a camera app in the works that translates content on the screen itself.
In states with a significant Hindi speaking population users can toggle Google search results between Hindi and English.
There is a Hindi Input App that allows users to quickly type in Hindi.
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Podcast Manager & Podcast Editor: Bharani Dharan