Dzongkha Development Commission’s secretary Tshewang Norbu submitted to Prime Minister that the target of designing Dzongkha Jogyig (cursive) fonts be removed from the Annual Performance Agreement (APA).

Lack of time was cited as the reason.

Development of Dzongkha Jogyig was among the four success indicators (SI) at risk.  The secretary said it was discussed to implement the development of the fonts in the 12th Plan.

“We would also like to request that the priority and budget allocated for this target to be shifted to the development of extra Dzongkha mobile applications,” he said, adding that although the bid for designing of Jogyig was invited twice, only one firm submitted the bid documents.

Tshewang Norbu said it was found that the firm had not designed any Dzongkha font earlier and did not have any knowledge of Unicode and Dzongkha fonts. The firm also did not know about font development applications and was so decided to disqualify it from the bid.

DDC submitted that government performance management division (GMPD) extend the deadline to develop Dzongkha mobile applications until June 15 instead of March 30.

The commission will develop application for IOS software besides Android software.

DDC requested for additional budget of Nu 300,000 to meet the target.

“But allocated budget is not enough to conduct research and to complete the project on time. We’ve completed research in 16 dzongkhags so far,” said Tshewang Norbu.

The commission also proposed extension of deadline to conduct Dzongkha-related consultation meetings to February 28 instead of January 30.

The commission has achieved development of Dzongkha ICT and have collected more than 21,000 Dzongkha words and compiled them into different grammatical categories. The target was to collect 5,000 words.

ICT entrepreneurs were also trained to enhance Dzongkha information technology in Trashigang, Gelephu, Thimphu, Paro, Phuentsholing, and Samdrupjongkhar.  Total of 35 youth were provided Unicode training.

The commission has also conducted research in the Dzongkha speaking dzongkhag, on pronunciations, history of the dzongkhag, and collected 759 words from 12 villages in Thimphu.

It was reported that 24 SIs of 32 were on track. Four were indicated as achieved.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said: “I will request finance ministry myself for the additional Nu 300,000 for research and compilation of names and spellings of the places.”

The commission has spent Nu 15.946 million of the total budget Nu 26.860 million.

Yangchen C Rinzin