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Local language support in phones after July

October 27, 2016 12:02 IST

Government was trying to notify the regulations by the end of this year but the initiative was delayed by issues raised by handset makers

The government’s plan to make Indian languages support for mobile phones mandatory will become effective after July 1, 2017.  Handset makers have pointed to difficulties in making the changes required and have sought more time.

The government was trying to notify the regulations by the end of this year but the initiative was delayed by issues raised by handset makers.

Handset makers said the price of feature phones would rise by 10 per cent, if devices were to be made compatible with local languages.

The government has held meetings with stakeholders on July 22, August 24 and September 8 to understand the challenges and also build a consensus among industry players.

The government has not accepted demands for an extension of the implementation date to January 2018 and exemption to existing models from supporting local languages.

Handset makers said to provide language support, the RAM capacity of phones needed to be increased and some design changes incorporated. Further, this will affect the supply chains of handset makers because they will have to make available certain phone models in specific markets.

The central and state governments have stepped up measures to provide mobile governance. But the big hurdle is language support, critical to reach services to people in rural areas.

Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

Kiran Rathee in New Delhi
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