Local language support is the key for increasing Internet penetration in India (see: Rural Internet Users/State of Vernacular Content in India) and Department of Information Technology (DIT) is working on software tools and fonts which can help personal computers (PCs) and websites decipher content in the country’s 22 languages recognized by the Constitution.
There are 22 constitutionally approved languages spoken in India and over 1600 regional dialects. Out of the total literate population in India, 37% are English literate in urban areas and 17% in rural. The remaining (i.e. 63% in urban areas and 83% in rural) are not familiar with English.
While there are very few local language sites in India, non-familiarity with English adds to discomfort in using PC (which trickles to lesser number of local language websites in India).
DIT has earmarked Rs 8 crore to fund the R&D projects of the Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) (source) – hopefully this can potentially accelerate the adoption of PCs in India.
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