Tech2 reports, “The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) unveiled Internet search engine, Sandhan, yesterday to assist users searching for tourism-related information across websites. Sandhan will provide search results to user queries in five Indian languages – Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.  Launched by J Satyanarayana, Secretary of DEITY, Sandhan has been developed by 120 researchers of 12 institutions over a period of six years, led by Dr. Pushpak Bhattacharya under the Technology Development for Indian Languages (TDIL) programme of DEITY. As stated in an official release, the project aims to satisfy the need of users for information through text documents present on the web.”

The article continues, “The query entered in one of the five languages is processed to retrieve a set of relevant documents in the same language, from data crawled in the tourism domain from the World Wide Web. These retrieved documents are then presented to the user in the form of an ordered list based on the relevance of the document. With this service, the government aims to plug the wide gap that exists ‘in fulfilling the information needs of Indians not conversant with English- estimated at 90 percent of the population’. At the time of the unveiling, the Secretary said that six years of research resulted in this milestone, but this was only the beginning. He said that for making the search engine successful, it is equally important to develop and promote content in Indian languages. He added the real success would be when even village level e-services would be available in local languages. ”

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Image: Courtesy DEITY