| The Google sign outside the company’s California headquarters |
Calcutta, July 18: You are more likely find that old Bengali film you were looking for on YouTube or the once-read Tagore short story on the Net as Google gears up to increase its involvement with Bengal and the Bengali language.
Google India managing director Sailesh Rao met chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and IT minister Debesh Das at Writers’ Buildings today, officially to discuss the “usage of technology at the state level”.
Sources present at the meeting said Google had offered to manage the government’s mail server free of cost. The server is now managed by the state’s agency, Webel.
Google has asked for Bengali literature, including Tagore, to be uploaded on its Bengali search engine.
“Google also wants Bengali films on its video-sharing site YouTube. However, we have to analyse copyright issues and other legal aspects,” said IT minister Das.
Google’s desire to engage with the Bengali language is a vindication of the fact that there is a demand for Bengal-related information on the Web, added Das.
The Bengal IT department has set up an institute comprising linguists, programmers and policymakers for the standardisation of the Bengali script. The mission of the institute, which Das said could collaborate with Google, is to make Bengali as a language more accessible and available on the Net.
An IT industry expert said: “Google had finally realised that it cannot just engage with English-speaking people for business around the world. Non-English speaking mark- ets and other languages are equally important.”
Local information is also important for Google because it has Google Local, a search engine for business listings across various regions and countries.
The government has requested Google to also provide personnel to train its staff in open-source technology.
In open-source software, as in Linux, programme codes are available for modification and redistribution by users and other developers. The opposite of it is Microsoft’s Windows, where the company owns all the rights.
The IT department has opened an institute to train people in open-source platforms.