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Sep 28, 2017 04:46 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Govt likely to extend compliance deadline for local language support in mobile phones

The grace period is likely to be given to mobile phone makers due to the complexity involved in creating keyboards for some languages.


The government is likely to extend the deadline for phone manufacturers to provide mandatory Indian language support in their devices from October 1 due to the complexity involved in creating keyboards for some languages.

"In meetings of the working group, it was found that there are a large number of unused characters in some local languages, but they increase the complexity of the keyboard significantly. Considering this, a restricted keyboard set has been identified and given to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for considerations,” said Ajay Kumar, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

Last year, the BIS had issued a standard that required all mobile phones to have the ability to type in English, Hindi and at least one additional Indian official language. It also required that people should be able to read all 22 Indian official languages on their devices.

Initially, there was some resistance from the industry because the standard also included printing local languages on feature phones.

“The standard is set to use the strength of mobile penetration in the country for transmitting the text message to the citizens particularly in hours of disaster management,” says the foreword of the BIS standard.

The earlier deadline for compliance to the standard was July 1 this year, which was extended to October 1 through an official order in June.

“The new restricted keyboard has to now go through the working group and BIS will find out if there are objections, if any, to the new proposed standard,” said Kumar.

As a result, the date for compliance to the standard is likely to get extended from the earlier deadline of October 1.

This restricted keyboard will have to be approved by industry, academia and government before the regional language support in mobile phones and devices can be implemented.
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