Punjabi University: Research centre to develop technologies for differently abled

May 13, 2019

To provide easy and effective communication for differently abled, Punjabi university has established a research centre. This centre is aimed at bridging the gap between society and the differently abled. Further this research center will be dedicated to the  development of technlogies for differently abled.


Vice-Chancellor Dr BS Ghuman said the step has been taken by the university as the welfare of society. "Differently abled people face many difficulties to communicate even for their daily needs. If technology provides them with a system where the can express everything easily then they can become self-dependent. Their interaction with society would enrich them in the process of socialization.


Dr Vishal Goyal, Professor, who has already been working on Indian Sign Language (ISL) Machine Translation projects for hearing impaired at the university said, "This is the first officially established research centre on the subject in North India. We along with Dr Lait Goyal, Associate Professor, DAV College Jalandhar have developed machine translation system to translate simple English text to ISL synthetic animations. We will now use it to effectively translate complex and compound sentences also. The project will become an effective tool to communicate in terms of academics, for teaching hearing impaired people, making public announcements in ISL and preparing course contents in ISL to assist differently able students in academics."


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The centre will develop a two-way communication system and one of its projects will translate sign language to simple English language as well. Explaining it, Dr Vishal Goyal, coordinator of the centre said, "The whole process will become a two-way communication system and will bridge the gap between society and the differently abled. A hearing-impaired person standing at the railway station will not need someone to translate his sign language. Instead, the machine will decode his sign language into simple English language and communicate it to the announcer. The announcer can then speak into the system which will be translated into sign language for the hearing impaired."


"The the project will not remain language specific as we will develop the software to further, incorporate Punjabi text for its similar translation to ISL", he added.


As of now, the centre has been established without any budget. Officials said the department will generate funds for its operation through funding from agencies in the industry as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility. 


Dr. G.S.Batra, Dean Academic Affairs told that Department of Computer Science is developing a number of tools for the welfare of differently abled people and also copyrights have also been credited for the same. He said the centre is not confined to the development of machine translation system into ISl, it will further be developing projects related to Blindness, autism etc.


Col Karminder Singh, Director, deaf and dumb school, Patiala appreciated this move initiated by Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University Patiala.


Courtesy: TOI


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