In an attempt to ease it for consumers not conversant with English, on Friday, Indian government launched Sandhan, the Indian language search engine for tourism domain. The search engine has been launched in Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.
To get started, the search engine captures the information in the form of a query in one of the 5 Indian ‘query’ languages including Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. The query is processed to retrieve a set of relevant documents of the same language from crawled data in tourism domain from the World Wide Web (WWW). These retrieved documents are presented to the user in the form of an ordered list based on the relevance of the document.
Apart from the tourism, sectors such as business and academia would also benefit from Sandhan and it can also be deployed as part of e-governance and e-learning, it said.
Sandhan has been launched by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) Secretary J Satyanarayana who was reportedly quoted saying, "This will fill the wide gap that exists in fulfilling the information needs of Indians not conversant with English- estimated at 90 per cent of the population."
Reportedly, the search engine has been developed by 120 researchers of 12 institutions over a period of 6 years led by Dr. Pushpak Bhattacharya under the supervision of TDIL DeitY. The project aims at satisfying the user information need through text documents present in the web, said a statement.
Here are some key features of Sandhan:
• User has the facility to submit a query either with the help of in-script keyboard or phonetic keyboard. In case of in-script keyboard, user can type using the keyboard or onscreen keyboard can be used to submit a query to the system.
• It has the capability to process the query based on its language and retrieves results “only” from that language.
• Snippets generated for each of the retrieved document helps the user to understand the context of query terms in that document.
• Summary is generated for each retrieved document. This feature helps the user to get an idea about the overall content of the document without opening the same.
• An additional URL based semantic search facility is provided for Tamil language.