Technology should be made available in vernacular languages that will help accelerate growth in areas like education and health, Union minister Nitin Gadkari Tuesday said. Speaking at an event here, Gadkari also said a consultative approach with stakeholders in this matter will ensure that fundamental rights of people are protected and that technology is not misused. The Union transport minister said he has urged IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to ensure that regulations are kept upto date.
“Otherwise the thing which we have started for betterment of people, for knowledge, can get misused,” he said citing example of spread of fake news. He further said, “Government should hold talks with stakeholders for this and come out with transparent rules and regulations. This will protect the fundamental rights of the people, and misuse (of technology) will also be checked,” he said.
He added that using technology in regional languages will not only help take governance services to the masses but also accelerate growth in areas like education, health, agriculture and economic development. Gadkari said English speakers and news consumers are in small numbers compared to those who engage in Indian languages.
However, a majority of the content available online is in English. According to a Google-KPMG report, an estimated 536 million Indians are expected to use regional languages while online by 2021, complemented by increasing affordability of devices and data charges and availability of more local content.
The report estimates that Hindi Internet users (at 201 million) will outnumber those accessing the web in English at 199 million by 2021. In 2016, the total number of the Internet users who accessed Internet in Indian languages and English stood at 234 million and 175 million, respectively.