Monday, 29 March 2010

Encoding Nepal Script: Consultative Meeting held in Kathmandu*

Kathmandu - The Nepal Lipi Guthi (Nepal Script Trust) organized a consultative meeting on encoding Nepal (Prachalit/popular) script at Harati Hotel in Kathmandu on Saturday (March 20, 2010). Prof. Premshanti Tuladhar, Head of Central Department of Nepal Bhasa of Tribhuwan University, Nepal was the chief guest of this well attended meeting presided by Nepal Lipi Guthi Chair Sharad Kasah ‘Kasah Chhen.’ At the meeting, Nepal Lipi Guthi’s academic member and former chair Sharad Kasah informed of the efforts in encoding Nepal script by several individuals in the past and presented a paper on Nepal Script Alphabet: A New Perspective for encoding.    
    Suwarn Vajracharya, Chair, Nepal Study Center Japan reported of efforts in encoding Nepal scripts being pursued at the international level and presented a paper on Encoding Nepal Scripts: A Report and Preliminary Proposal. Representing the user community, Naresh Bir Shakya, Editor-in-chief of Lipipau weekly and shared his view on the possibility of a greater benefit that encoding Nepal script can bring about in the field of communication. Professor in Linguistics Tejratna Kansakar commented on both papers presented at the meeting.
    Guest of Honour Professor at the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba Japan Dr. Carole Faucher and Professor at University of Kathmandu Patrick Hall stressed the need of encoding Nepal script as Nepal Bhasa has a long and important history. Prof. Kashinath Tamot of Nepal-German Research Center made remarks about the new alphabets. Nepal Bhasa Academy Vice Chancellor Laxman Rajawamsi and Rajiv Shrestha of Lipithapu Guthi commended the efforts in encoding Nepal script. Chief Guest Professor Premshanti Tuladhar made remarks on the historical importance of the Nepal script’s encoding.
    The consultative meeting that commenced after offering a one minute silence in respect of Nepal Lipi Guthi’s patron, Late Pundit Hemraj Shakya will be submitting a report on the discussion and proposals seconded at this meeting to Unicode. The Nepal Script Unicode Committee headed by Sharad Kasah ‘Kasahchhen’ has appointed Suwarn Vajracharya resident in Japan as International Coordinator to coordinate in the task of encoding Nepal script.

What is Unicode?
Encoding script is a technical term. Once Nepal script is encoded, it can be viewed and activated in any brand of computer in the world, not limited only in some computers. Downloading of fonts will not be required any longer. Emails can be written in Nepal script in the same way other scripts such as English are used in writing emails. Not only that, but encoded Nepal script will also help us use all the facilities related to Nepal script. For example, words typed on the screen can also be automatically read out through available software.
    Though efforts are now being made to encode Nepal script, it is learnt that some parties in the US are giving preference to encode Ranjana script. The issue was also discussed at the meeting in Kathmandu and efforts for encoding Nepal script are being pursued at the public level. Scripts all over the world are being encoded at the initiatives of concerned governments. But in Nepal the initiatives have been taken by public level because the Government in Nepal has shown no interest in taking the needful initiative in favour of Nepal script. The Devanagari script, which the Government of Nepal claims to be Nepalese Script has already been encoded at the Indian initiative as script of Hindi language.
* Click here to read the Nepal Bhasa version on Sandhya Times; click here to read the news in Nepal Bhasa & Khasa Bhasa versions

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