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Deadline for making handsets Indic language capable extended till 1st October 2017

What's a government department that doesn't extend deadlines?* The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, has extended till October 1st 2017, the deadline by which all handsets manufactured, stored, sold and distributed in India have to support at least 3 Indian languages. The mandate as per the initial order (issued October 24th 2016) was to include at least 3 languages: English, Hindi and at lease one of the other 22 official Indian languages, and support reading of text in all these languages. The order mandates the inclusion of the Indian language support standard “16350 : 2016 Enhanced inscript keyboard layout” for mobile phone specifications to “the Schedule of Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirement for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2012“. The order prohibits “manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of Goods which do not conform to the specific standards, and allows an “appropriate authority” or the person authorized by it to view secure compliance with the order. This allows inspection and search of premises, and seizure of goods. The standard specifies the character code-sets for representing Indian Languages and their scripts on digital medium. The standard covers code charts, characters and character names for 11 Indian scripts which cover all 22 official languages of India which are identical to ISO/IEC 10646 (Universal Coded Character Set). Our Take Mandating Indian language capability for devices is perhaps the right decision: and even if it's a bit late, it helps more than it hurts. Handset manufacturers have failed to provide adequate support to Indian languages, and a three or four years ago,…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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