Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Govt Speeds Up Measures to Implement Urdu as Official Language

The government of Pakistan is undertaking various initiatives to establish Urdu as the official language in all government departments, in accordance with Article 251 of the Constitution. Recently, the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives approved the revised PC-I of the project “Establishment of National Language Processing Laboratory (NLP-Lab)” with a budget of over Rs75 million.

The Ministry of National Heritage and Culture Division is the sponsoring agency, while the National Language Promotion Department (NLPD) will oversee the project’s execution. Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal has been a driving force behind these efforts, aiming to transition from manual to digital processes and promote the Urdu language.

The primary objective of the project, as stated by Dr Rashid Hameed, Director-General of NLPD, is to elevate Urdu to a language equipped with extensive digital data resources and modern technology applications.

The NLP-Lab includes the development of applications like machine translation (MT), speech recognition (SR), and optical character recognition (OCR). These applications aim to enhance language learning accessibility, facilitate cross-border communication and commerce, enable online content access, promote cross-cultural understanding, and aid in preserving language resources.

Dr Hameed emphasizes that languages that adapt to the latest technology have better chances of survival in today’s world.

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