‘Project Udaan,’ an AI-based translation software ecosystem: IIT Bombay Professor and his team launch project on Hindi Divas
‘Project Udaan’ can translate engineering textbooks/learning materials in one-sixth the time taken by a team of domain and linguistic experts working manually: IIT Bombay
How it Began?
Seven years ago, Prof. Ganesh and his team decided to come up with ‘Project Udaan,’ owing to the wide gap they saw in the availability of technical knowledge in Hindi and other Indian languages. The Indian Constitution requires every state and local authority within the state to provide adequate facilities for instruction in the mother-tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to linguistic minority groups. The state policies that addressed this requirement served the citizens well for the first three decades since independence; this was a time where most of the economic activity especially in the manufacturing sector was conducted using traditional technologies, which could easily be transacted in regional languages. The scenario however witnessed a drastic change when the country made progress from being an agrarian society overcoming extreme poverty to a largely urban and urbanising society.
The fast-urbanising India built many factories using modern technologies and there was an explosion of opportunities in software technology. Fuelled by this demand for skilled labour with fluency in English, there was an emergence of many secondary schools and colleges of higher learning teaching in English. While this great churn has benefited 10-20% of Indians who become proficient in English, 80% of the nation was left behind by their inability to learn in English. The need of the hour was to cater to 80% of the Indian population by making scientific and technical knowledge available in Indian languages and thus, ‘Project Udaan’ came into being.
The evolution, progress and capabilities of Prof. Ganesh and his team’s end-to-end translation ecosystem have happily and fortuitously coincided with the implementation of the New Education Policy based initiative to introduce higher education through Indian languages. Through donations, the team aims to continue its work on ‘Project Udaan,’ and complete its target to translate 500 engineering texts in Hindi in one year and in 15 Indian languages in 3 years.
For details: https://www.