In a move to break the foreign language barrier experienced by mobile phone users in India, the government has mandated support for regional languages in all handsets sold in the country on or after July 1, 2017.
As per the new order, all mobile phone companies will have to provide text reading support in all Indian languages on their devices.
The manufacturers have to build softwares which will support English, Hindi and a regional language of the users’ choice.
Both smartphones and feature phone manufacturers should abide by this order.
“The provisions of ‘Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order 2012’ ....shall apply for the aforesaid inclusion by virtue of this order with effect from July 1, 2017,” the govt notification said.
“It was one of most awaited step and a landmark decision which will pave way for connecting next 1 billion people most of whom will be non- English speaking. The order is in line with Digital India vision of bridging digital divide,” Indian cellular association national president Pankaj Mohindroo said.
He said that government and industry were on the same page on this issue.
“The support for Indian languages has potential to grow e-governance transactions, e-commerce business etc multifold, once non-English speaking people are able to access mobile platform in their own language,” Mohindroo added.