Google launches new tools to make Internet work for more Indians

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NEW DELHI – With the aim of helping more users in India leverage the power of the Internet irrespective of their English language proficiency, Google on Tuesday announced several new tools including one to make more content in Indian languages go online.

At present, the amount of online content in Indian languages is only one per cent of what is available in English.

To make online content relevant for more Indian users, Google announced a project called Navlekha, a word derived from Sanskrit meaning “a new way to write.”

This project comprises a tool that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to render any PDF containing Indian language content into editable text, making it easy for print publishers to create mobile-friendly web content, the Mountain View, California-headquartered tech giant said at its annual Google for India event here.

“Google is working with more than 100,000 offline Indian language publishers on Project Navlekha, which allows them to easily start their website and publish on a branded domain with a few simple clicks,” said Shashidhar Thakur, Vice President, Engineering, Google Search.

Participating in this project will help publishers receive training and support, and a branded page domain for the first three years, Google said, adding that Navlekha has already opened up for publishers in New Delhi and in the coming month it would be ready to welcome more from other regions.

The project also provides Indian language publishers with free web hosting with AdSense support, so they can immediately start monetising their content, Google said.

Thakur added that the Search feed would now display a users’ favourite topics of interest as well as news, from both English and Hindi sources.

Moreover, Google has also enabled its Assistant to answer your queries in Marathi.

It will soon learn seven more Indian languages, Google said.

The tech giant also announced a new feature in its lightweight “Go” search app that lets users listen to webpages.

The Google Go app supports 28 languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi and Tamil — even on 2G connections.

Google also announced the expansion of Google Station, which aims to bring fast, reliable and easy to use Wi-Fi to more places around the world, to Andhra Pradesh.

Google Station is partnering with Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited to bring the the service to over 12,000 villages, towns and cities of the state — a move that could potentially benefit around 10 million people, the tech giant said.

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