The Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives has announced practical measures to implement Urdu as an official language across all government departments, in accordance with Article 251 of the Constitution. A revised project, “Establishment of National Language Processing Laboratory (NLP-Lab),” has been approved with a budget of Rs78.186 million. This initiative aims to fulfill the Supreme Court’s 2015 order to enforce Urdu as an official language.
The Ministry of National Heritage and Culture Division is the sponsoring agency, while the National Language Promotion Department (NLPD) will be responsible for executing the project. Dr. Rashid Hameed, Director General of NLPD, emphasized the project’s goal of elevating Urdu to the status of languages with extensive digital resources. The NLPLab will develop various applications such as Machine Translation, Speech Recognition, and Optical Character Recognition, making language learning more accessible and facilitating cross-border communication and commerce.
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Dr. Hameed highlighted the importance of languages adapting to modern technology for their survival in today’s world. He credited Planning Minister Professor Ahsan Iqbal as the driving force behind these efforts, emphasizing the shift from manual to digital processes. The minister recently established a steering committee comprising experts from the information technology and private sectors, dedicated to facilitating digital transformation and increasing the country’s export volume.