Utkarsh is a mission to bring the power of computers to the Gujarati speaking populace.
As computers become part of everyday life, the biggest bottleneck to their widespread use is the unavailability of Indian language software. The benefits of the information technology will reach an average user only when the computing interface is in local language.
Utkarsh enables Gujarati users to use computers in their own language. Utkarsh will aid in furthering the growth of computers among the non-English speaking Gujarati people thereby reducing the Digital Divide. Utkarsh also intends to bring the Gujarati culture into the digital realm and ensure that Gujarati language does not face the danger of extinction.
Though the usage of English is increasing in India, it still remains a language of the elite. Less than 20% people are well versed with conversant English. Lack of English knowledge acts as an handicap for adoption of information technology skills, resulting in limited usage and understanding of power of computers. Hence there is prevalence of a unique paradox: Technology is cheap, but "Information Poverty" still exists amongst a large section of people.
It is ironical that people remain ignorant about the far reaching power of computers only because of the lack of command on the worldwide language. Hence, to spread the usage of Information Technology to wider section of people, localization plays very pivotal role. Utkarsh is an effort in this direction for the Gujarati language.
Localization of technology is useful to expand the use of technology and cross section of people can be benefited. When cable TV was introduced in India, it was available only in English. At that time just 5% populace knew English and hence the growth rate of cable TV was extremely slow. After the launch of national and regional language cable channels, the cable TV industry has spotted phenomenal growth rates. Today, it is extended incredibly like that each regional language is having 2 to 3 cable channels. This is the live example of power of language along with Technology.
Utkarsh is an attempt to unleash the power of technology using local language.
Utkarsh comes in two forms - 'Utkarsh OS' and 'Utkarsh for Windows'
- 'Utkarsh OS' is Live CD, we can use applications directly from CD and also can Install as another operating system - 'Utkarsh OS'
- 'Utkarsh for Windows' - which contains installer package of Office suit, Web browser, Mail client and Gujarati keyboard for windows system.
Roots of development of Utkarsh OS are in open source software. It is based on GNU/Linux. Open Source software have the advantage of its very rapid development, often by several collaborating companies, and much of it contributed by individuals who simply need an improvement to serve their own needs.