The Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), a part of Ministry of Communications & IT, has launched that will provide requisite basic localization tools and services to developers and government departments. The site was introduced as part of the National e-governance plan launched in 2006 and currently offers tools like text to speech plugin for Firefox, javascript-based on-screen keyboard and on-screen indic language keyboards for Android.

The website also has detailed set of resources for developers who want to create localized information or apps. it has several files on topics such as guidelines that need to be followed while localizing, localization in e-Governance perspective and localization checklist among others. The localization website also has a dashboard illustrating progress of localization across government services.

It needs to be noted that the service currently supports Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Malayalam and Punjabi, with plans to offer 22 languages and has a web service which allows developers to offer transliteration support on the web or through a browser based toolbar.


Knowledge portal

The government also launched a multilingual knowledge portal targeted at NGOs, government, community based organizations, knowledge networks and CSRs. It is available in five languages – Hindi, Assamese, Marathi, Telugu and English as of now with plans to make it available in 22 Indian languages over various phases. It covers sectors such as sectors such as Agriculture, Education, Health, Social welfare, Energy and e-Governance as of now.

Localized apps: Vikaspedia has several Android apps which have been localized and available for download such as Ask An Expert, Common Service Centre Finder, KVK Khoj, Mother (Mobile based maternal health awareness), Sheltor (Student hostel locator). As always the government has not uploaded the apk on Google Play and you can download it from the website itself. Do note, that these apps work only for devices with Android 4.0+, which means if you have a phone running Gingerbread you will not be able to install this app. It is a sensible move to not support older OS versions as 4.0+ now account for more than 75% of Android devices.

E-commerce mess: The website also has a section called e-vyapar made with the intention of encouraging commerce online. However it seems to be very poorly designed and it’s not clear why there is a marketplace within a knowledge portal. Items listed include mangoes and lemons (no prices listed)!

Also read: DeitY Releases Urdu Font; Fonts For 22 Languages Developed By TDIL