TDIL programme releases Text-to-Speech system in Malayalam

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New Delhi: As part of the Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) programme, the Minister of State for Communications & IT, Shri Sachin Pilot, released the Text-to-Speech (TTS) system in six Indian languages including Malayalam on September 22, 2011. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that this initiative is a significant step towards digital inclusion of differently-abled people from different linguistic background. He also launched web based Optical Character Recognition systems (OCR) for two Indian languages.

The TDIL Programme of the Department of Information Technology, Government of India, has developed this Text-to-Speech system. TTS has also been integrated with Non Visual Desktop Access (NVDA) screen reader and Optical Character Recognition System (OCRA). OCR system developed under a TDIL consortium project for Hindi & Punjabi was also provided on TDIL Data Centre to get user feedback, while the challenges of computationally intensive technology research are being addressed in parallel.

Besides linguistic diversity, these technologies will cater to the needs of differently-abled people and will go a long way in assisting them to become part of the Information Technology mainstream. It is hoped that use of these technologies will provide an impetus towards wider usage of Indian languages for governance and related applications and will augment social inclusiveness & reach out to specially-abled section of the society.

Text-to-Speech is computer software which renders the machine readable text into Human Voice. The TTS software will enable people with visual impairments or low vision disabilities to listen to written works on a computer or a mobile device. TTS system integrated with screen reader would enable visually challenged users to interpret and perform computer operations with audio interface. It allows easy navigation using the screen reader facility.

Optical Character Recognition systems convert paper documents to electronic form so that printed books and records can be accessed and processed using computer based techniques. OCR for Indian scripts can make this literature web accessible. Further, one can use OCR-ed electronic data to generate Braille version of printed books for visually challenged. Also OCR’s can enable text-to-speech systems to deliver Indian language books through the medium of audio. 

Kerala IT News

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