Google, at its Google for India 2018 event in New Delhi on Tuesday, has announced a new Next Billion Users initiative for country called Project Navlekha. The search giant held the fourth edition of its annual Google for India event in New Delhi on Tuesday and announced several key initiatives relevant to the Indian market, including a rebranding of Google Tez to Google Pay. It showcased its efforts in the country and provided a look at all the new features that have been developed with Indian users in mind. With the new Project Navlekha, Google is planning to enable publishers, especially those that work in regional languages, to take their content online.
"When you search in Indian languages, the content available is just 1 percent of what's available in English," Google says in a post on Twitter. One of the key issues for regional language publishers is to go through a tough process to move their content to the Internet. With Project Navlekha, Google claims that a simple application will be able to create a webpage out of scanned copies of pages. Navlekha, the company says, helps you easily make offline content fully editable and publish online without the need of experts. The word navlekha is derived from Sanskrit, and means 'a new way to write', Google's Rajan Anandan, Vice President, India and Southeast Asia, said in a blog post.
Notably, Navlekha will be available soon starting with Hindi publications. Currently, users can express their interest for a free publication website via Google's dedicated page. Once you sign up for the programme, a team from Google will review your application and get in touch with you. Also, registered Indian publications are recommended to sign up to get notified when more languages become available. The company says Project Navlekha comprises a tool that "uses AI to render any PDF containing Indian language content into editable text, making it easy for print publishers to create mobile-friendly Web content."
Google claims that 90 percent of 135,000 print publishers in India do not have websites yet, and it aims to bring this number online. With the new project, the company wants to empower offline publishers to bring their content online. With Navlekha, Google says, publishers will be able to "create beautiful webpages with a few simple clicks," "receive unlimited free hosting on branded domain," and "get AdSense support to monetise their content." Google elaborates that publishers will also receive training and support, and a branded .page domain for the first three years.
It is worth noting that Google will provide expert help to set up a website for free. On its site, the company says, "We will help you get your content online for free. We will not charge for our publication tools and the domain name for the first three years. All you need to get started is your content and a commitment to bring your publication online."