India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced the launch of an AI-enabled multi-language translation tool called ‘Bhashini’ at the fourth G20 Digital Economy Ministerial Meeting. The tool aims to address the language barriers faced by citizens in accessing digital services.
Under the Digital India program, initiated by the Modi-led BJP government, ‘Bhashini’ is a part of the expansion efforts to enable the digital delivery of services to citizens. Launched in 2022, the tool is an artificial intelligence (AI) based language platform developed under the National Language Technology Mission (NLTM) chaired by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity).
By combining open-source models, tools, and solutions for Indian languages, ‘Bhashini’ leverages technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP). The platform creates an ecosystem for the development of innovative products and services in Indian languages, making AI and NLP resources accessible to Indian MSMEs, startups, and individual innovators.
The main objective of ‘Bhashini’ is to eliminate the language barrier and provide easy access to the internet and digital services for all Indians, regardless of their language proficiency. The tool aims to bring non-English-speaking population onto the global internet by allowing them to access it in their regional languages.
India has a large internet user base of over 850 million people with affordable data costs. Prime Minister Modi highlighted how technology has been leveraged to enhance governance and make it more efficient, inclusive, fast, and transparent. The AI-enabled translation tool ‘Bhashini’ is another step towards digital inclusion and bridging the digital language divide in the country.