"Bhashini App: Bridging the Digital Divide with Language Diversity"

Dr. Pavankumar R.Khedkar, IIS Assistant Director,  Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Governmentof India
Dr. Pavankumar R.Khedkar, IIS Assistant Director, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Governmentof India

10 Sep, 2023

"Bhashini App: Bridging the Digital Divide with Language Diversity"



‘Mr. Ivan, a Russian delegate at the G20 Summit was pleasantly surprised when the ‘Bhashini’responded to his query in his mother tongue, something unimaginable just a few years ago.

But this is just a peep into the future. Some of the possibilities that technology could bring into our lives were brought alive at the Digital India Experience Zone in Hall 4 of the International Media Centre. Ivanfelt at home conversing with the machine and able to get all the required information on the G20 finance track in Russian. The enthusiasm in his voice and sparkle in eyes suggested that this story is going to get wide publicity in the land of President Putin. The Russian President may have missed the G20 Summit but waves of this tech would soon reach him and his people.

The Bhashini and its Bot Jugalbandi were borne out of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology’s initiative to showcase some of the cutting edging technologies to the delegates of G20 during the Summit.

They had an immersive experience of India's prowess in digital infrastructurein accordance with the theme of India’s G20 presidency ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’, which focuses on inclusivity.Bhashinipromotes this by breaking the language barriers. It brings people together not just in India as envisioned in the mission of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharatbut across the globe by linking people across different languages, truly reflecting age-old Indian ethos of ‘VasudhaivaKutumbakam’.

Explaining the features of Bhashini, Varun the executive manning the machine said, “For speech to speech it is available in 11 schedule languages and for text to text it is available in 22 schedule languages”. It works on the inputs given and based on that the machine keeps on learning and giving seamless experience of hassle-free communication. So, language does not become a barrier in communication in particular and in development in general.

                                   Building Blocks of Bhashini


Imagine, your phone could talk to you in your own language. Bhashini does just that!

At its core, Bhashini is a digital symphony, harmonizing with Indian languages. It provides a welcoming embrace of familiarity, offering voice-based access to the digital universe. Its mission is clear: to empower every Indian with the ability to navigate the internet and access digital services in their native language. This will enable them to be better informed citizens and be an integral contributor to ‘Viksit Bharat’ in Amrit Kaal through Janbhagidari.

But Bhashini is more than just a gateway; it's a hub of collaboration and community. Nestled within its digital halls is the 'BhashaDaan' section, where individuals from diverse walks of life converge to contribute to a plethora of crowdsourcing initiatives. This spirit of collective effort resonates deeply with the ethos of India – Unity in Diversity.

Bhashini: Widening the Horizons

The platform provides plethora of opportunities to not just domestic but also international community and JugalbandiBot is one of the applications of this technology. One can make use of this technology to ensure the last mile delivery of services using the platform in the language and dialect the people speak. It can also be utilized to help fill the forms in their own dialect, through the feature phone(IVR). At the heart of vibrant democracy lies the Janbhagidari. This platform provides an opportunity to further deepen the democracy at grass root levelof Bharat.

To witness the magic of Bhashini, one needs only to visit its virtual abode: https://www.bhashini.gov.in/en/. Here, a vibrant ecosystem thrives, where institutions, industry players, research groups, academia, and individuals unite. Together, they craft an ever-evolving repository of data, training datasets, benchmark datasets, open models, tools, and technologies.


Bhashini: Ab apni bhasha mein bolo

But how does this digital wonder come to life? It is through four distinct pathways – Suno India, Likho India, Bolo India, and Dekho India. These pathways beckon users to become the storytellers of their own languages. They listen, transcribe, write, speak, and see – all to celebrate and preserve the kaleidoscope of Indian languages in the digital realm.

As the digital revolution unfolds, the Bhashini App emerges as a testament to the transformative power of technology. It dismantles linguistic barriers and creates a digital bridge connecting millions of voices, cultures, and languages. It embodies the hope that technology can unite us and the belief that diversity is our strength. As our key focus is on harnessing technology for inclusive, sustainable and human-centric development, Bhashini app is an important milestone in transcending the barriers so that no one is left behind.

In a nation where every language is a melody, Bhashini orchestrates a digital symphony. It's a story of hope, unity, and innovation that resonates across the length and breadth of Bharat. It's a story of how an app has become a bridge, connecting hearts and minds in the journey towards a digitally inclusive future.