Government has mandated support for Indian languages in all mobile phones to be sold in the country from July 1, 2017 onward.
"In exercise of the power conferred by clause 10(1) of Bureau of Indian Standard Act... the central government, hereby includes the Indian language support for mobile phone as per IS 16333 (Part-3) to the schedule of 'Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirement for compulsory Registration) Order, 2012", an official notification said.
As per the new mandate, all mobile phones in the country will have to provide text reading support in all Indian languages on their devices.
The new standard mandates mobile phone companies to provide message typing facility in English, Hindi and a regional language of their users choice.
"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 notification said.
The notification mandates both smartphones and feature phones to provide language support.
"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 language 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 said.