The State Government has issued an order that it will migrate to 16-bit encoding, mainly Unicode, from eight bit encoding for all its computer applications in Tamil.

Speaking at the concluding session of the Ninth World Tamil Internet Conference (TIC) 2010 here on Sunday, Information Technology Secretary P.W.C. Davidar said theGovernment Order was issued onJune 23, 2010.

According to the order, the Government will stop using all eight-bit encoding and migrate immediately to 16-bit encoding. Unicode will be the main code to be used in all applications where support for Tamil is available.

In applications that do not support Unicode, TACE16 (Tamil All Character Encoding) will be used as the alternative standard.

Speaking at the session, Information Technology Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna said IT was reaching new heights. It was going to all fields and was becoming multi-dimensional. It should go to the villages too through Tamil. The Government would support efforts taken for this.

“The government should not be seen. It should be felt through the e-governance initiatives,” Santhosh Babu, Managing Director of the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu, said.

Through e-governance, it was now possible to get birth, death, and nativity certificates by applying online.

As many as 138 papers were presented at the TIC that concluded here on Sunday. Of these, 75 were presented by overseas participants, numbering about 150.

Some of the subjects covered at the conference were: e-governance, wikipedia, blogs, search engines, character recognition and Tamil domains.

For the computer professionals, some of the emerging areas of interest in Tamil computing were high-scale, high-quality content, Tamil domain name and more search engines. For the users, it was easily extractable content, according to M. Anandakrishnan, chairman of the local organising committee of the conference.