Launched by Google, the Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA) program is an initiative to promote creation and growth of web content in various Indian languages. The program is in partnership with several other technology firms and publishers. The publisher list includes ABP News, OneIndia, Network18, NDTV, Times Internet, Jagran Prakashan, Patrika Group, DB Digital, and Amar Ujala Publications. The technology companies onboard are NewsHunt, HinKhoj, Firstouch, C-DAC, Webdunia, LinguaNext Technologies, Reverie, Prost Innovation and Process Nine Technologies.
The objective behind this program is to get 500 million Indians on the web by 2017. Google launched HindiWeb.com, an aggregator site that presents Hindi content (verbal and video) pooled from various online sources. Most English-speaking Indian people are online, but the Hindi and other Indian language-speaking people (the majority) are yet to embrace the Internet. ILIA aims to fill in this vacuum.
Google realizes accessing native language content is a bigger hurdle than availability. Even if the content is available, Indian languages’ non-compliance with Unicode makes discoverability difficult. Google also wants people to create more Hindi content.
- At the time of launch, Google demoed voice search in Hindi on an Android mobile device.
- The online search engine is also planning to add 50 Hindi fonts to its font repository that already has 15 Hindi fonts.
- Demo of Google Hindi Input – a sophisticated Hindi keyboard that is currently up for use on Android One phones.
Though Hindi is currently in focus, other Indian languages such as Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, etc. are soon to follow suit.