Virtual Resource Centre for Language Computing (VRCLC) is established at IIITM-K to promote language computing research and development to bridge the digital divide and leverage the power of Information Technology. A country like India, which values its culture, heritage and language, is greatly in need of local language computing so as to combat the dominance of English in computing and also to reach out to information access in local languages at everybody’s doorstep.
India has had about 25 years of history in language computing (LC) which has gone through its ups and down. But during the last decade there has been a paradigm shift with a significant leap to LC as a new computing arena. The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), India initiated Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) with the objective of developing Information Processing Tools and Techniques to facilitate human-machine interaction without language barrier; creating and accessing multilingual knowledge resources; and integrating them to develop innovative user products and services.
The major activities of TDIL involves Research and Development of Language Technology, which includes machine translation, multi-lingual parallel corpora, cross lingual information access, optical character recognition and text to speech conversion, proliferation of language technology and development of standards related to Language Technology etc. Various projects and research have been undergoing under TDIL with the effort of number of Scientific organizations and Educational Institutions. The projects are in consortium mode and IIITM-K is one of the consortium members of two prestigious projects Indian Language Corpora Initiative (JNU ILCI) and Indian Language Machine Translation System (IIIT-H ILMT).
VRCLC aims to promote Malayalam Computing and Language Computing by conducting research and developments in this area mainly in Machine Translation Systems, Corpora developments, tools and Interfaces, Standards and tackling various issues pertaining to Malayalam language when it’s translated. The centre will also promote Malayalam Computing initiatives in the state to setting up standards, creating awareness, providing training and consultancy and development of Localization tools. In order to fulfill the mission to make Kerala the First E-literate state in India, a collaborate and joint efforts in the development of tools, software and interfaces are highly required. The success of an e-Governance project depends only when it reaches to the common people and only when it can be accessed in local languages. So there is a big need for Malayalam Computing solutions that can benefit to a large community of Malayalam Speaking.