Windows, MS Office in Bengali for Bengal offices

Tuesday, 17 December 2002, 08:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: West Bengal has renewed a contract with Microsoft for providing platform and application for e-governance and supplying Windows and MS Office in Bengali language.

The state government signed an agreement with the IT monolith in August last year to receive Extended Markup Language (XML) platform for use in e-governance.

The agreement, which ran out some time ago, was renewed for another year by Chief Secretary Sourin Roy and Microsoft India chief Rajiv Nair here Monday.

The state already has deals with such IT names as IBM, Wipro and Tata Infotech.

Besides its earlier commitments, Microsoft will provide operating systems in Bengali, mostly for use in government offices. It could not be effectively used earlier for lack of vernacular language stationery.

IT Minister Manab Mukherjee told IANS that under the new agreement Microsoft would supply MS Office and Windows in Bengali by October 2003.

Mukherjee has invited Microsoft chief Bill Gates to visit West Bengal when he comes to India next.

Besides stressing on e-governance, Microsoft will advise the government on management of the IT sector.

Its XML platform will allow creation of online forms, clearance certificates, applications and transactions through the Internet.

Microsoft experts will train professionals. IBM is also likely to be engaged for a similar project.

The government is working to connect the 19 districts through satellite to enable district administrations to not only hold telephonic conferences but also videoconferences with the chief minister and select ministers.

The government's computerization programme is being implemented in two phases. Under the first phase, which has been partially completed, district headquarters will be brought under the satellite network for video conferencing.

Select departments will also be provided electronic mail facilities, and a data bank base would be set up to access official information.

Source: IANS
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