In August this year, a circular was issued for imposing sedition charges which had a faulty Marathi translation that left Fadnavis Government red faced. Eventually, the State Government admitted to the mistakes in the Marathi version and later withdrew the circular.
Nagpur: The widely uttered idiom “Once bitten twice shy” has come true as far as Maharashtra Government is concerned in the real sense of the words. A recent notification issued by the BJP-led Government has come as bad news for babus who cherish to spend time leisurely by doing the designated job by their own whims and fancies. The State Government, led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, has summarily barred its officers and employees from using Google’s popular translation tool — “Google Translate” — for rendering official documents in other languages.
The ban, imposed through an official notification recently, comes in the wake of a major embarrassment to the State Government over a faulty translation of a circular for imposing sedition charges.
In August this year, a circular was issued for imposing sedition charges which had a faulty Marathi translation. The State Government admitted to the mistakes in the Marathi version and later withdrew the circular. The circular issued on August 27, 2015, had sparked a controversy owing to its conditions required for initiating action against a person under Section 124 A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) which deals with sedition.
Recently, the State Information Technology Department issued a Government Resolution (GR) asking all the Government Departments not to use Google Translator facility — www.translate.google.com — for translation purpose. “The concerned person will be held responsible for the content of the Government Resolution and circular uploaded on the Government’s official website,” the GR pointed out. It also said that the concerned person should be very careful while making changes or translating content of the Government Resolutions or circulars. Also, the same should be certified (by superiors) before uploading on the government website.
Though used by millions of users worldwide, Google’s tool is known to occasionally throw up incoherent answers, mainly due to literal translation of the words. In the State too, it had served as a handy tool for many Government employees for its time-saving and ease-of-use features. Besides the bar, the Government order has also decided to hold responsible the concerned officials for any mistake in the contents of Government Resolutions and circulars uploaded on the official website of the State Government henceforth.
Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( rajeev.nagpurtoday@g