All mobile phones sold in India to have multi-language support

The Department of Electronics & IT (DeitY) is all set to make it mandatory for all mobile handsets to come loaded with multi-language support feature. All the mobile handsets, being manufactured or sold in India, will be covered under this rule.


Indian Cellular Association (ICA) said that it convinced manufacturers about the need and desirability of introducing these features despite cost escalation and technology challenges on one hand and to recommend a viable solution for implementation of the same to the Government.

It said that the move will help catalyze the ‘Digital India’ vision and to bring e-Governance within easy reach of every citizen.

Further, the move would have a momentous impact on the speed of governance and the way utilities and services such as education, health, permissions, licenses etc are accessed by citizens as only about 10% of Indians are supposedly conversant and comfortable in transacting in English language.

“Provision of multi-language support in every mobile will catalyze Digital India program, make life of citizens convenient as accessibility to critical services and utilities will become extremely fast and transparent. In short, this is real empowerment of Citizens and I am happy that mobiles will become the new symbol of this new age empowerment,” ICA chairman Pankaj Mohindroo, said in a statement.

Absence of multi-language support feature has been a major stumbling block in unleashing the full power of mobile handset and Digital India vision to utilize the power of mobile handsets as the “device of choice” for implementation for various E-Governance schemes.

As per the scheme of things, DeitY has already instructed the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to formally come out with an Indian Standard that could be used for implementation of the same.

The final standard will be published soon after consultations with the Industry and other stakeholders as per the process followed at BIS.

Some features, which are likely to be standard features of all future handsets, will be to have a minimum 4MB of memory out of which 2MB would be reserved for official Indian Languages support; message readability in would be provided for all 14 scripts and 22 official Indian languages and inputting of text would be available in English, Hindi and at least one additional Indian Language.

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