Guwahati: The ruling BJP government in Assam has formed a fourteen-member committee headed by the Assam Cultural Affairs Minister Bimal Bora to suggest ways to prepare a separate Unicode chart for the Assamese script.

The committee will also include an additional chief secretary, President of the highest literary body of state, Assam Sahitya Sabha, Assam Unicode activist Dr Satyakam Phukan and eleven others as members from various fields.

The committee’s mandate is to advise the government about developing the Assamese script and the separate Unicode.

For years, prominent Assamese individuals, non-governmental organisations, and the state government have been campaigning for recognition of the Assamese script as a separate entity for which a unique code is needed for each alphabet that could be recognised by the Unicode consortium. Every character typed on a keyboard has a unique code number.

A delegation also attended a Unicode conference in London last year and presented a proposal by the Assam government, where it was recommended that the Bengali script be renamed as “Bengali-Assamese”.

But the effort to find out a unique code for the Assamese script remains.

Unicode characters are defined by the international standard ISO 10646; ISO does the encoding based on submissions from the concerned governments.

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