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Friday, August 19, 2022

SoU screen refuses to recognise ‘Assam’, leaves students from state disheartened

“We were visiting the Statue of Unity on June 24 and when we saw the interactive screen for the pledge, we decided to take the pledge to see our names pinned up on the big screen. But we were aghast when the system refused to recognise the name of our state ‘Assam’ and instead said that it contained an expletive,” one of the students from Assam said.

Statue of Unity, AssamWhile the students from Assam said that the experience left them “dispirited”, officials of SoU, on Thursday said the “technical glitch” will be rectified at the earliest.

A group of students from Assam was left surprised when the interactive screen at the Statue of Unity (SoU), which allows users to take a pledge to “follow the footsteps of Sardar Patel”, refused to recognise the word “Assam”, terming the first three alphabets of the spelling as an “illegal word”.

While the students said that the experience left them “dispirited”, officials of SoU, on Thursday said the “technical glitch” will be rectified at the earliest.
The interactive screen, located in the hall of the SoU, is meant for people to take a pledge in the name of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The first screen prompts the users to enter their name, age, and (native) location and then proceeds to allow the users to select their “favourite” from eight options for their pledge.
The pledge options include “being honest and following the rules of law to make my India a great nation” and “provide nutritious food to poor and malnourished children to make India healthy” among others.

Once the user chooses the pledge, the screen displays the pledge along with the user’s name pinned on a big screen in the hall.
The Masters students from Assam University’s Faculty of Social Work, who were visiting Gujarat for their internship with an organisation, said that the experience was extremely “disheartening”.

“We were visiting the Statue of Unity on June 24 and when we saw the interactive screen for the pledge, we decided to take the pledge to see our names pinned up on the big screen. But we were aghast when the system refused to recognise the name of our state ‘Assam’ and instead said that it contained an expletive,” one of the students said.

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The student added that the group summoned an SoU staff on duty to seek help.

“The staff, however, expressed their helplessness as the screen is an automated one… It was extremely disheartening because we do feel that our state is largely ignored even in important issues,” the student added.

On Thursday, when The Indian Express contacted the Statue of Unity Area Development and Tourism Governance Authority (SOUADTGA), officials first checked the students’ claim on the interactive screen and confirmed that it was indeed failing to recognise “Assam” as a single word.

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Shivam Baria, Deputy Collector, SOUADTGA, said that the technical team had been summoned to immediately rectify the issue and also recheck the names of important places in the country, especially the 28 states and nine Union Territories that are currently in existence.

Baria said, “The technical team has explained that the software is programmed to filter expletives… We did not expect that the name of the state would also be filtered by the automated system. Now that it has come to our notice, we have asked the technical team to rectify the screen immediately… We will have the error sorted out in the next couple of days.”

First published on: 30-06-2022 at 09:19:49 pm
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