Google has announced the creation of Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA), in partnership with leading Indian technology and content companies, to promote the growth of of Indic-language content on the Internet.
Network 18 is one of the founding members of this initiative and is represented by IBN Khabar and MoneyControl Hindi.
ILIA wants to be able to turn 300 million Indian language speakers into active Internet users by 2017 and the alliance would work towards accelerate building of Indic language content.
To support its effort in showcasing Indian language content on the web, Google announced the launch of www.hindiweb.com, which, according to the company, would enable Hindi speaking Internet users to discover the best Hindi content across websites, apps, videos and blogs. Google also demonstrated Voice Search in Hindi, at its event in New Delhi.
According to Google's figures, there are over 200 million Internet users in India, about 16 per cent of its population of 1.2 billion. Practically all of the India's English-speaking population of 198 million is already online. The remaining 90 per cent of Indians who are not online tend not to be English speakers.
Google, which currently offers voice search in English, has also added Hindi language service and plans to add other languages like Tamil, Marathi and Bengali to the list in coming months.
"India has about 200 million Internet users with about 5 million new users being added every month with 100 per cent coming through mobile devices. At this pace, India will overtake the US in terms of number of users in the next 12 months," Google India Vice President and Managing Director Rajan Anandan told reporters here.
However, only 198 million people in the country are estimated to be proficient in English with most of them already on the Internet, he added. With that in mind, the Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA) has been formed, he said.