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New software to take IT to Indian masses

Poor skills in English will no longer be a handicap to gain IT proficiency for about 900 million Indian masses.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2007 12:05 IST

Poor skills in English will no longer be a handicap to gain IT proficiency for about 900 million Indian masses, thanks to a novel software developed by an Indian institution and an Israeli company which has been formally launched in Tel Aviv.

'Lekhika 2007' - a software application, developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) under India's IT Ministry, and Israel's FTK Technologies, covers ten scripts and 3000 characters and supports Windows, MAC and Linux.

A demonstration of the application showed that the language letters are clearly visible on the screen and it being an intuitive software, predicts the next alphabet or 'matra' making it simple for the user even if he happens to be fairly new to computers.

The application is expected to enable masses in India, who do not know English, to gain computer skills in their own language thanks to its user-friendly, comprehensive, cost-efficient format.

"Due to the fact that English literacy in India is a mere 10 per cent, such a solution will cater to the remaining 90 per cent population and can prove to be an effective tool in driving IT literacy programmes in India," Harel Cohen, CEO of FTK Technologies, said at the launch.

The software costing between 2500 and 3000 rupees currently supports Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu and Punjabi, but by 2009 will include all the officially recognised Indian languages, Cohen said.