Google India on 3 November 2014 announced launch of Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA) in partnership with various content providers. The alliance was launched to make available local language content on the internet.
The main objective of the ILIA is to bring 300 million Indians online by 2017 and to promote the growth of Indic language content online.
The alliance will accelerate building Indian language content for Indians who will come online for the first time, mostly via smartphones and mobile devices.
Content providers in ILIA includes Jagran Prakashan Ltd, ABP News, Amar Ujala Publications Ltd, C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), DB Digital, Firstouch, HinKhoj, Times Internet Ltd, LinguaNext Technologies Pvt. Ltd, NDTV, Network 18, Oneindia.com, Patrika Group, Prost Innovation Pvt Ltd, Process Nine Technologies Pvt Ltd, Reverie Language Technologies Pvt Ltd, Ver Se Innovation/NewsHunt and Webdunia.com in addition to Google.
As part of its effort, Google showcased demos of voice search in Hindi and launched a website www.hindiweb.com to help Hindi-speaking Internet users discover Hindi content across websites, apps, videos and blogs. It also informed that it has plans to launch similar tools for other major Indian languages like Tamil, Marathi and Bengali, over next 15 months.
In addition to above initiative of the Google, the Union government is also working on a project to promote local language use across the entire technology eco-system.
The project, called e-basha, is a critical part of the ambitious Digital India programme.
Internet users in India
As per Google, at present India have 200 million internet users which is about 16 percent of the total population of India. Further, about five millions new users are being added every month, of which 100 percent of these are coming through mobile devices.
Out of 200 million internet users, 198 million constitutes part of 400 million persons who speak English in India. With this programme, Google aims to target the remaining 60 percent non-English speakers of India.
Comment: it seems that this programme of Google to promote the growth of Indic language content online will bridge the country’s linguistic digital divide. If this language barrier is broken successfully then in future internet will empower Indian language users to take advantage of web’s huge economic and social potential.
When: 3 November 2014
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