Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled “Bhashini ” an artificial intelligence (AI)-based language translation tool designed to enable real-time translation of Indian languages. The PM used the tool during the event for real-time translation for his Tamil-speaking audience. Describing it as a “new beginning” PM Modi highlighted the tool’s role in simplifying communication with the public and said it would make it “easier for me to reach you.”
What is Digital India Bhashini?
The roots of Bhashini trace back to the inauguration of Digital India Week in Gujarat in 2022, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced “Digital India Bhashini ” This initiative aims to enhance internet accessibility and digital services in Indian languages, incorporating voice-based functions and promoting content creation in diverse languages.
What is Bhashini?
Bhashini operates as an AI-driven language translation system breaking down language barriers and enabling conversations between speakers of different Indian languages. The platform is accessible through dedicated Android and iOS apps, providing a user-friendly experience.
The overarching mission of Bhashini is to enable all Indians to access the internet and digital services in their native languages. It aims to harness natural language technologies fostering a diverse ecosystem of contributors for transcending language barriers, ensuring digital inclusion and empowerment.
The government outlines Bhashini’s journey across four tracks: Foundation, contribution, innovation, and grand challenge. These tracks signify pivotal milestones in the platform’s progress, contributing to the larger objective of a Digital Government.
Bhasha Daan initiative
Bhashini introduces Bhasha Daan an initiative focused on gathering language inputs across multiple Indian languages. This initiative encourages individuals to contribute anonymously, enriching datasets for AI model training and supporting the development of products and services beneficial to society.
How can you contribute to Bhasha Daan?
Bhasha Daan aims to encourage diverse contributions—transcriptions, voice recordings, translations, or image labeling—enabling collective efforts to develop Indian languages inclusively.
Bhasha Daan includes the following categories for citizens to contribute to:
Suno India: Contribute by typing out audio content or validating transcriptions made by others.
Bolo India: Donate your voice through sentence recordings. Validate audio recordings contributed by others.
Likho India: Contribute by translating the provided text. Validate translations submitted by others.
Dekho India: Contribute by typing text seen or labeling images. Validate images contributed by others.
Where was Bhashini developed?
The Digital India Bhashini Division (DIBD) comes under the Digital India Corporation, which is a Section 8 Company under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
Why is Bhashini important?
India is a linguistically rich country. Bhashini can go a long way in overcoming language barriers and challenges. Most of the content available online is in English or other major Indian languages, to lesser degrees, this can make information simultaneously accessible and challenging. The governments of India want to ensure that information is accessible in local languages that may not have national recognition.
Bhashini and digital financial services
During Global Fintech Fest in October, Amitabh Nag, CEO of the DIBD, also stated that Bhashini had the potential to help promote financial inclusivity and economic empowerment and enhance financial literacy. This came in light of DBID signing a contract with the Reserve Bank Innovation Hub (RBIH) to help extend digital financial services to people in their native language.
Nag also added that the division planned to launch a “Public Tech Platform for Frictionless Credit in multiple languages.” This platform streamlines and enhances credit delivery by financial institutions.
Bhashini represents a significant stride towards inclusivity and accessibility in India’s digital landscape. Its ability to transcend language barriers and foster digital empowerment underscores its importance in facilitating communication and access to information for all Indians. Through initiatives like Bhasha Daan and collaborations with financial institutions, Bhashini stands as a testament to India’s commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of its citizens.