New Delhi: We see the role of Startups in the Innovation, Development as well as Consumption of Technology”, said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, while speaking to 73 Startups in the field of Artificial Intelligence and language technology in a brainstorming session organized by MeiTY on Mission Digital India BHASHINI – [BHASHa INterface for India] – the National Language Translation Mission (NLTM).
A Bhashini Platform will make Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) resources available to MSMEs, Startups and Individual Innovators in the public domain. This mission aims to empower Indian citizens by connecting them to the Digital Initiatives of the country in their own language thereby leading to digital inclusion. The Bhashini platform is interoperable and will catalyze the entire Digital Ecosystem. It is a giant step to realize the goal of Digital Government.
Mission will create and nurture an ecosystem involving Central/State government agencies and start-ups, working together to develop and deploy innovative products and services in Indian languages. To encourage participation of startups, a brainstorming conference was held on 24th May 2022 through video conferencing. Prominent startups that are working in the Indian Language domain participated in the conference.
Mission Digital India Bhashini also aims to increase the content in Indian languages on the Internet substantially in the domains of public interest, particularly, governance-and-policy, science & technology, etc. , thus will encourage citizens to use the Internet in their own language.
Multi-linguality presents a major opportunity to startups for developing innovative solutions and products that can cater to all Indian citizens irrespective of the language they know. Enabling access to knowledge resources, and digital empowerment of the citizens is of high priority to achieve the goals of Digital India. Hon’ble MoS shared his wish to “digitally connect all Indians and facilitate their digital inclusion leveraging AI/NLP by transcending language barriers around the Internet”. He also said that “Startups are an important part of our Digital ecosystem and will be supported for developing India-specific and Indian Languages enabled IT solutions through Mission Digital India Bhashini.”
“I hope this may lead to more number of AI/Language based startups & ultimately Unicorns”, he added.
The Minister also remarked that Initiatives arising out of the confluence of AI techniques and NLP, such as the development of speech and text translation techniques, will increase the reach of governance. As public websites become multilingual and interactive, the reach of public welfare schemes will also increase. He also emphasized the important role of startups in technological innovation in our ecosystem and appealed to startups to join hands with the government and work in the Mission Digital India Bhashini to break the language barrier.
Startups also shared their views on how they can actively engage with and participate in the Mission to help the Government realize the objectives of the Mission.