EKAVI and Kannada Software Development

ella kannadaabhimanigala antarrashtriya vedike in

SOME INNER DETAILS ON KANNADA SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Posted by egovindia on August 7, 2006

From: arasan@bgl.vsnl.net.in
Date: Tue Jun 8, 2004 7:27am
Subject: SOME INNER DETAILS ON KANNADA SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Dear Colleagues,

I understand that you all are eager to know something more on the Kannada software development that has taken place in the guise of developing Kannada. I would like to share some more information on the subject. I affirm that all the informations provided by me are factuals and based on the documents available with me.

GOK AND THE STANDARDS FOR KANNADA

GoK (Kannada and Culture department) has announced a Kannada keyboard layout as a uniform keyboard layout (which is referred as standard keyboard layout or KGP layout) without any study. The uniform keyboard layout was announced on 4-2-99.

It is to note that the typing method followed in the manual typewriter is based on the graphemic approach while the Uniform keyboard announced by the GoK is based on the phonemic approach. It means that these two methods of typing are completely different and a user has to unlearn the one to use the other.

The brutality is that all the typists who are now put into operate computers have to unlearn their typing knowledge and learn the uniform method. GoK is still appointing typists and stenographers based on the qualification of typing method based on the manual typing method which is followed in the diploma courses conducted by Directorate of Technical Education and various other institutes and Universities. This is a grave mistake of GoK and wastes precious study time of thousands of students.

GoK appointed KGP as a certifying agency on 4-2-99 to certify the Kannada software intended to purchase by the departments of GOK. KGP has abused its power to promote/favour some of the Kannada software.

Kannada software users were facing problems of Non-portable Kannada data created by using various Kannada software, which is based on the proprietory encoding adopted by various Kannada software developers due to various issues of Copyright and IPR. To ensure portability of Kannada data created among various Kannada software users GoK has announced a standard vide G.O maa.tham.e 6 nee.sam.v 2000 for glyph encoding and guidelines to be adopted in the Kannada softwares. As per this G.O certification is a must for any Kannada software for its use in GoK departments. Alongwith the standard glyphs, GoK has also listed further requirements for a Kannada software, such as conversion utility to convert the data created using the existing Kannada software. Through its G.O, GoK has restricted the Kannada software developers to use only the standard glyphs as announced in the G.O. However, GoK has adopted uncertified, non standard NUDI in its e-Governance projects. Use of non-standard glyphs has nullified the very purpose of standard and has made all other Kannada software as incompatible and forcing the GoK user departments to use only Nudi. Enforcing of Nudi is also ensured because of implementation of Nudi in the Secretariat network which connects all the departments of GoK.

DETAILS ON GOK FUNDING KGP

Eventhough KGP has certified some of the Kannada software, it didn’t disclose the number of certified Kannada software to GoK. On 31-1-2001 KGP got sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs2,92,000/- in the guise to develop a Kannada software to test and evaluate the Kannada software developed by other Kannada software developers. This software was released as Kalitha. GoK has started installing Kalitha in the computers of GoK’s user departments in the guise of helping the user departments to test and evaluate the Kannada software they use. Please note that as per the G.O user departments are bound to use only the certified Kannada software. As a first step to monopolise the Kannada software, KGP has twisted the requirement and acted on its self ambition to monopolise the Kannada software and guided the GoK to install Kalitha and to distribute FREE (but KGP sold Kalitha and sells Nudi for Rs.100/=. Nudi is not KGP’s property).

On the success of Kalitha, KGP approached GoK with proposals for Twenty two products. GoK accepts 16 proposals and sanctions funds to the tune of Rs.27.65 lakhs vide G.O maa.tham.e 234 a.da.v 2001 dated 27.12.2001. Following is the breakup of the cost and list of proposals for which GoK sanctioned funds.

1. To update Kalitha as per the requirements – Rs.90,000/-
2. Sorting as per Kannada alphabetic order – Rs.50,000/-
3. Indexing as per Kannada alphabetic order – Rs.1,00,000/-
4. Word check for Kannada office – Rs.50,000/-
5. Find and Replace – Rs.25,000/-
6. Additional fonts – Rs.1,00,000/-
7. Unicode version of Kalitha (Nudi) for MS Windows- Rs.2,00,000/-
8. Grammer check – Rs.6,00,000/-
9. Unicode version of Kalitha (Nudi) for Linux- Rs.3,00,000/-
10. Converter to convert from ISCII to Unicode and Unicode to ISCII and filters and converters to convert data from various software fonts – Rs.1,50,000/-
11. Kannada Office (StarOffice) – Word processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, database – Rs, 5,00,000/-
12. LOGO software in Kannada – Rs.5,00,000/-
13. Address book – FREE
14. Kannada Kali – FREE
15. Akshara kali Ganitha kali – Rs.50,000/-
16. Accounting software – Rs.50,000/-

STATE OF KGP

Presently GoK is promoting only KGP. All the Kannada software developers have become jobless. The present situation is very grim for Kannada on computers as all the Kannada software developers have withdrawn from Kannada software development.

A need for a society was felt during 1995, As a sequel to this urge a seminar was organized at SBI training center near National college. GoK has organized a two seminar during 1997 at MS buildings to promote Kannada on computers. This event was a turning in the field of Kannada software development. The organizers have shown favouritism to some developer and ditched others. Further, Srinatha sastry and Narasimha Murthy fooled people around and consolidated their position and formed a dubious society during 1999 and KGP was registered with registrar of societies on 17-5-99. However, KGP has not bothered to file any returns with the registrar of societies.

Eventhough I don’t have complete list, the partial list includes the following:

Somashekar – NAL
Srinatha sastri – NAL
Narasimhamurthy – SBI
Shri Ganesh – HRD consultants
Sheshadri- System Analyst KSRTC
Ethendranath-Adamya tech
Prakash – MS Ramiah school of Advanced studies
Panditharadhya – Reader Mysore University
Udaishankar puranik

As my knowledge goes, now, due to internal differences some of the initial founder members are thrwn out of KGP.

Pavanaja – Vishwakannada
Anand – Cyberscape/Aces
Rajan – Ex Chief Scretary GoK
Sathyanarayana – Employed at KIDWAI

A programmer from Tally is involved in the development of NUDI. Pavanaja was also associated with the initial versions of NUDI.

Eventhough KGP has adopted K.P Rao’s keyboard layout, he (K.P Rao) doesn’t agree with the way the standard keyboard layout was formulated.

HOW DO KGP QUALIFY

In all its reality KGP is not qualified for developing Kannada software on the following grounds:

1. KGP was not existing for three years prior to sanctioning funds.
2. KGP has not developed any software prior to sanctioning of funds.
3. KGP is a certifying agency. A certifying agency itself can’t enter into development of competitive products which they are supposed to certify as it is most illogic like a referee, umpire or an examiner himself taking the competition by himself.

KGP doesn’t have any expertise in developing software. KGP has developed Nudi in a clandestine manner. As KGP is the certifying agency, all the Kannada software developers have submitted their software. KGP gained inner details by means of demonstration and discussions etc with developers (please note that GoK has not disclosed any details on developing their Kannada software Nudi). KGP pirated the fonts submitted to it by various Kannada software developers.

As per the G.O to sanction funds to the tune of Rs.27.65 lakhs KGP has been requested to develop all the required Kannada software and to maintain them from time to time.

KGP has monopolized the Kannada software field and the future of Kannada software is now waiting for the grace of KGP!

With warm regards,

N. Anbarasan

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