[+PLUS] An article on The New Indian Express !
hiran.v at gmail.com
Wed Oct 25 05:38:58 IST 2006
Baffling chillaksharams: Computerisation of police stations hit
Monday October 23 2006 09:52 IST
T'PURAM: Chillaksharam, the consonants without vowel sounds in
Malayalam alphabets, are posing a big challenge to the software
professionals at Red Hat Linux in the US. And as a result,
computerisation of the police stations in the state have been hit.
The non-compatibility of the chillaksharams ('in', 'ill', 'il', 'ir',
'inn') with Linux free software is said to be the reason for the
hurdle. This came to the notice of the officials when computerisation
of 44 police stations in three cities -- Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and
Kozhikode -- was all set to be launched.
"The National Informatics Centre (NIC), which developed the software
for computerising the police stations, has referred the issue to the
Red Hat Linux authorities in the US. The problem is expected to be
sorted out soon," a highly placed police official told this website's
NIC developed the Common Integrated Police Application (CIPA) software
based on Linux platform for being used by all police stations in the
country. The software, which is based in English, had to be made
bilingual for effective implementation in the state. It was during
this process that the NIC came across the above problem. The system
just refused to accept chillaksharams.
As a result, certain Malayalam words would be misspelt. For instance,
the word velakaran (servant) will be accepted only as velakaranu by
Though the mistake sounds minor, it may lead to confusion, especially
when recording statements in a case. About 95 percent of the
first-information-reports (FIRs) are in Malayalam, sources point out.
The CIPA has been successfully converted to bilingual by incorporating
Hindi as well as Tamil. But Oriya faces problems similar to Malayalam.
Police stations in Delhi and Rajasthan have already been computerised.
Kerala will be the third state to fully computerise its police
More information about the PLUS-discuss