And Now, A Passport Website With Junk Instead Of Kannada

The Star of Mysore reported a rather welcome story on June 21st:

KANNADA, ENGLISH WEBSITE FOR PASSPORT APPLICATION

Bangalore, June 21 (DV)- The Regional Passport Office here has launched a new website in Kannada and English.

The website is http://www.rpobangalore.gov.in/. This is being managed by National Information Centre here.

The already existing website www.kar.nic.in/passport will also be functional along with this. Till the new website is fully functional, the old website can be made use of.

The new bilingual website with complete information is user friendly and easily communicates with other websites. To see the Kannada version, Baraha should be downloaded to the computer.

Information in Kannada is available along with English. The web site contains information on passport application, rules, method of obtaining passport, documents required, speed-post, list of post offices, information on district passport cells, Tathkal scheme etc. Regional Passport Office has already made arrangements since May 5 to submit applications in the morning and to obtain token online.

Applicants seeking passport can get their names registered online by submitting the application a day in advance and get the token, says a press release.


However, the website (Kannada home is here) is encoded in an obsolete Baraha font called "Baraha Kan New" which is not supported by the latest versions of Baraha. Also, it's just too careless, shortsighted and ignorant of the RPO to not make the website in Unicode which is the only international encoding supported by every browser and operating system worth its name. The net result - the website displays junk characters instead of Kannada on most browsers and operating systems. We've tried Windows XP, Windows Vista, Linux, Mac and Solaris operating systems, and Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari browsers. Nope. It's junk instead of Kannada everywhere.

Does all this carelessness simply display the lack of seriousness of the central government in implementing Kannada in administration? Does the central government have in its DNA what it takes to take Kannada seriously?

And by the way, any guesses on what it takes to have our passports printed in Kannada and English instead of Hindi and English?

18 comments:

danDa pinDa said...

Oh Come on! I dont visit Karnatique to read this. You can definitely write something which is educative.

However, I agree this is very important and the concerned authorities should be contacted on this but this is not a blog for this!

Omshivaprakash said...

Its totally carelessness.

Anyways, here is a workaround to view this website on linux (I tried this on Ubuntu)

Type these commands in console ($ is your prompt)

1) downloading the font

$ wget http://www.rpobangalore.gov.in/downloads/BRHKANNW.TTF

2) Adding font to fonts directory

$ sudo mv BRHKANNW.TTF /usr/share/fonts/truetype/ttf-kannada-fonts

3) Updating fonts Cache on your system

$ fc-cache -v

Once this is done, close your browser and open again.
You will be able to see the webpage without any issues.

Regards,
Shiv

ಉಉನಾಶೆ said...

Hi:

I get proper kannada fonts.
Vista + firefox

Regards,
UNShetty

ಉಉನಾಶೆ said...

Am I missing something here? No junk at all in my case

Anonymous said...

It shows the total lack of respect for the sentiments of kannadigas.Will they do something like this with tamil ? They would be afraid to do this.We must fight for our rights.We need to strike fear into the hearts of the Central Government so that they dont do something like this again.Violence is necessary.Our governments understand only that language.See how they bent to the demands of the Gujjars ? Inspite of 15 arrest warrants issued by the Supreme Court , the government is yet to arrest the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid for fear of backlash from muslims. Our governments only respect those who threaten them.Anyway we are well within our rights to organise a violent movement for our self-respect.

Anonymous said...

atleast kannadadalli maadidare adu olle maate .... unicode nalli maadidre font ragaLe ilde elru aaramagi nodbodu anta heLi ... avru maadiddu tappu anta heLodu sariyalla...

mohan said...

Those who have earlier versions of Baraha don't see junk. Those who have only the latest version see junk.

Anonymous said...

True. It is not junk. I could see it. Hearting to note that someone has attempted a comprehensive passport related website in kannada. I searched for other Indian language passport related website. But didnt find any. Anyway congrats to passport office.

ಉಉನಾಶೆ said...

If I remember right "Kannada in Unicode" is not available in Windows prior to XP. While Non-Unicode encoding like the one used here works fine with All Windows versions.

In my opinion, the article was a little harsh, about not using Unicode, because
(a) Site has done a decent job of translating most (90-95%) materials
(b) They have given an option, which would reach majority of their user base with least amount of effort (by user).

So, I think we must appreciate a job well done, and recommend/communicate future needs.

BTW:
Desktop:
XP SP1
Both Baraha 6.0 & 7.0 installed.
Did not work when font was absent.
Worked fine after copying font.
Laptop:
Vista
No Baraha software
No Baraha font (None)
kannada site Works fine... :O) :O)
Any ideas? Why it works?

Both cases used Firefox
- uunaashe

ಶ್ರವಣ್ said...

I could not see it. Even after installing the fonts. Either on IE nor on Mozilla. There may be some technical issues... I understand. I feel that the Passpoer office website should say/recommend what is the best browser/OS tow view the site in Kannada.
This website is a new one, but I am surprised to see I cannot even see the Praja Vani website on Mozilla. I can see it only on IE. I think Karnatique/Enguru should take this up with Praja Vani.

On the positive side, I am pleased that Kannada has so many fonts! And different websites use the different fonts. I like that aspect.

Kishore said...

I'm a finance exec. n I dont understand why I need to do so much of exercise to read the passport website in Kannada. An english website would just open up and appear correctly but when I clicked on Kannada option its all nothing but junk. I have baraha direct on my system but it didn't work with that aswell.. I think its a shameful conduct by the goverment and a sheer carelessness on their part to bring out crap in the name of kannada website.

Anonymous said...

Nija.Naavugalu bari tappu udukuvudannu bittu swalpa mecchi maathadoodanna kalibeku. Jothge balakeyallu kannadavanna hecchu hecchu balasabeku. Kannada bhaase mattu samskruthi beliyoodu bari teekeyinda saadya illa. Bhaasheya balake ondu samskruti estu kriyaashelavaagi annudanna thilisutte. Ivattu kannadada stithi hege andre jana balake maadoodu kadime aagtiroodra jothege e bageya (melene teekegalu)janaru bhasheya balake maadade.... adara uddarakaraagiroodu. Kannadada bagge bari thorikeya abhimaana allade kicchhannu belisikollona. Namma bhaasheyanna naavu kaapadikollade hodre yaaru barthaare kaapadakke.

Harish said...

Its our birth-right to have a website in kannada and the governments duty to implement it. What they have done is wrong and no need to feel so hesitant to protest or feel queasy to complain. We need to be tough. We need MEN. Not a bunch of womanly liberals who ask us to see the positive side of things and who are afraid to use harsh words and harsh language to condemn an atrocity. People who think it is a sin to be aggressive and angry at the injustice meted out to our motherland and mothertongue need not visit this blog.We are asking for nothing less than basic manliness as precondition to fight for awakening of our mother tongue. People who want to speak only soft words and think it is barbaric to use strong language and who believe in counting our blessings are more dangerous to this movement than the enemy itself.

ಉಉನಾಶೆ said...

It looks like a technical decision rather than a govt policy decision to use or not-to-use Unicode.

There are technical limitations with what can be done with Kannada vs English. It will take a while for these limitations to disappear.

If majority of Kannada population who would visit this passport website in a remote town with a OS older than Windows XP, then in my opinion, they have done a right decision of not going for Unicode. They can add Unicode if they are resourceful, but they can not drop what they have today. I agree that this option lacks "future vision", but it certainly addresses today's needs.

Why the site is not visible properly in Kannada font even after font installation - is a 100% technical glitch. We can try to address it ourselves (like a gentleman - Shiv - with a fix for Linux issues) OR ask the website people to address it. I sent a mail to Sri Baraha Vasu to see whether he can explain the behavour.

People who use Linux or Solaris but do not use Windows at all, will be very minimal and are experts enough to take care of their special needs (like Shiv above).

To sum it up again, in my opinion, not using Unicode is not a crime - at least not for now. Yes it is - in future, after XP machines becomes a norm in Karnataka. But not now. Junk character is a technical glitch local to individual's problem for which site id not provide proper help/direction. Again a - same as any programmer's blunder - not a crime - in my opinion.

Madhusudan Rao said...

Uunashe,

Going by your argument, the fact that Kaveri water was written off to Tamil Nadu is a technical blunder - the blunder of a pen writing the wrong thing on the Tribunal Award paper.

I think the point the author is trying to make is that these technical glitches betray the lack of seriousness in implementing Kannada.

ಉಉನಾಶೆ said...

All:

I see authors' point. I found it a little harsh and said so. Because I have seen many govt sites (state govt) where I see lack of seriousness - pretty bad sites.
[e.g. I was not able to see what font should be downloaded for "http://raitamitra.kar.nic.in". Please visit this site, and let me know if anyone finds out]

Author raised two issues (a) Unicode (b) Junk Character.

Like I said above I believe, "not having Unicode" is not bad. Rather it is better if one can not do both or does not want to go for images.

Again, Junk character is because of our own individual configuration, That is why it works for some, it does not work for some other. Site could have given details where it works best OR trouble shooting some common issues etc. Obviously, they will not be able to foresee all possible combinations and provide fix for them.

I am not expecting other bloggers to agree with me. They have their opinions and I have mine. May be my level of tolerance [manliness :O)], is different from them. May be factors that matter to them and factors that matter to me are not same in some cases.

But this thread of discussion is not helping our cause. So, let me quit it here.

BTW: I got a response from Shri Vasu - why I can see it in my laptop. Because I had the font already in my laptop. I was searching for ttf file, which I did not find; but in the control-panel=>fonts it was there!!!

Regards,
uunaashe

Anonymous said...

Hi. I saw the website. They have made it UNICODE.

Anonymous said...

ಪಾಸ್‌ಪೋರ್ಟ್ ವೆಬ್‌ಸೈಟಿನ ಮುಖಪುಟದಲ್ಲಿ “ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ವೀಕ್ಷಿಸಲು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಕ್ಲಿಕ್ ಮಾಡಿ” ಎಂಬುದು ಇನ್ನೂ ಯೂನಿಕೋಡಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಅದನ್ನು ಸರಿಪಡಿಸಲು ತಿಳಿಸಿ.

-ವಾಸು

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