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Workshop on Indian languages and Information Centric Networking(ICN)

September 5, 2018

Indian Languages Workshop: Agenda

Indian language (IL) print and Indian language visual media have seen explosive growth in the last two decades. India’s top ten newspapers in terms of circulation, all except one, are Indian language newspapers. More importantly, the readership of these newspapers is growing at a healthy 10% rate annually unlike in the West where the readership figures are rapidly shrinking. In terms of readership, India ranks next only to China and Japan. There are more than 550 channels on the offer in various Indian languages. Only a small number of these are government-owned and a big majority are held by private groups or by public companies.

The bright picture one sees for IL in print and visual media juxtaposes starkly with the meagre presence of Indian languages on the Internet.  One reason for this state of affairs is that until recently there was no universally accepted standard way of representing Indian languages in digital media. This problem has largely been resolved now by near-universal adoption of Unicode, an international standard for representing languages in digital domain, for Indian languages. Thus, the Indian language content is set to increase in the Internet which in turn will lead to increase in the number of people accessing the Internet. In many countries, it has been observed that Internet usage has shown significant increase when the available content in their language has increased. There is no reason to believe that India will be an exception to this trend.

Looking at the huge disparity in the number of mobile phones and the number of PCs and tablets in India – there are more than a billion mobile phones but less than 60 million PC/tablet owning homes in India – one can safely surmise that mobile phones, feature-phones as well as smartphones, will be the main Internet access device for the Indian. Tablets, PCs and TVs will be the other access devices, though much less in numbers.

SMS service which evolved as a value-added service enabling users to carry out text-based communication using spare capacity, has rapidly evolved over the last decade as a platform for delivering a wide range of important commercial services making it a very important modern communication platform. It is also being increasingly used as a tool for enabling e-governance, financial transactions and the like. The financial services and services like Aadhar have started using SMS-based authentication system to close the authentication loop.  Many SMS-based services in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, microfinance, logistics and emergency and disaster management have been launched in the country over the last couple of years. These have made SMS the most read or the most viewed digital service today. With the deeper penetration of smartphones and internet, Instant Messaging (IM) services such as WhatsApp may replace SMS in the future.

As a part of its endeavor to promote Indian specific standards, TSDSI is organizing a workshop on Indian Languages on 5th September 2018.

The stakeholders consisting of government, industry, academia and consumers have to address the following key issues before IL can really take off.

  1. Assuming that services will be made available in multiple Indian languages, how do we identify the user’s language? This would require some service such KYC where the user declares his/her set of preferred languages. This is a prerequisite before localization can happen.
  2. Need for a standardized transliteration scheme that retains phonetic nature of IL when represented in the Roman script. For example, the name of the coastal town Cuddalore offers no information on how the name is actually pronounced. A visit to Google map brings out this problem in stark terms.
  3. Translation services that work even on low-end devices. Can a message received in one-language be instantly translated in the language of choice? This issue is important as disaster messages are broadcast in IL and there is a huge migratory population in the country which may not be familiar with the local language.
  4. Ease of doing database access in IL. Historically, database platforms worked with byte-oriented architectures which work well for English (derived from ASCII) but do not carry over easily for Unicode. Consequence of this problem is that Railway reservation cannot be made today in IL.

Tentative Program

Timings Details
9:30 – 9:45 Inauguration and Objectives of the program
9:45 – 10:15 View point from Industry
10:15 – 10:45 Requirements from Finance and Banking industry perspective
10:45 – 11:15 Indic language support: Experience from SwaraChakra
11:15 – 11:30 Tea Break and Networking
11:30 – 12:00 CAP/PWS Requirements and Experience
12:00 – 12:30 Language technologies
12:30 – 1:30 Panel discussion on Language technologies
Workshop ends with lunch


  • Standardization Opportunities and Challenges
  • OS Customization


  • Mobile banking – MPFI
  • UIDAI, Aadhar
  • E-commerce, e-governance, Election Commission
  • Messaging for disaster awareness (ETWS, PWS etc)
  • Translation services


  • Search, retrieval, data mining

Internet Services

  • Maps, navigation, translation

ICN Workshop Agenda:

Timings Details
1400 – 1430 What is ICN – Architecture, Salient Features etc. Why ICN is important?
1430 – 1530 ICN Use Cases
– Telecom Networks – 20 min– Enterprise Networks – 20 min– Industry 4.0 (Robotics, UAV etc.)  – 20 min
1530 – 1600  

ICN Standardization – Current State, Ongoing work, Future Directions


1600 – 1700 ICN Strategy Panel & Road Map Discussion

Current ICN supporters: TCS, Reliance Jio, Huawei, IIT Bombay, IIT Bhilai

Potential Stakeholders:  Cisco, Samsung, Intel, Airtel, Nokia, BSNL, COAI, DOT etc.


Board Room @ Bldg 1, 2nd Floor, North Wing , Reliance Corporate Park, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra 400701


September 5, 2018

Registrations are closed for this event