ISCII Encoding

ISCII is an acronym for Indian Script Code for Information Interchange. ISCII is an encoding scheme that represents various languages that are written and spoken in India. ISCII follows single encoding schema, which allows for easy transliteration between various writing systems.

ISCII was introduced in the year 1991 by the Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS). It follows an 8-bit encoding schema and contains about 256 characters. The first 128 characters, that is, from 0-127 are same as that for ASCII. The next characters, that are from 128-255 represent the characters from the Indian scripts. Most of the Indian language characters are taken from the ancient Brahmi script and resemble close to each other due to having similar phonetic structure. Hence, a common character set was possible.

Advantages :

  • Majority of languages that are spoken in India are represented in this.
  • Character set is simple and easy to understand.
  • Easy transliteration between languages is possible.

Disadvantages :

  • We need a special keyboard which contains ISCII character keys.
  • As the Unicode was invented later, and with Unicode having the characters of ISCII, ISCII became obsolete.

Supported Languages :

  • Devanagari
  • Punjabi
  • Gujarati
  • Oriya
  • Bengali
  • Assamese
  • Telugu
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Tamil

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