Programming Taleem

Ishfaq Khan is credited with single handedly modernizing the carpet designing sector of Kashmir’s famed industry.

Khan studied computer programming at home and soon went out to design software to digitize land records in Urdu. Khan’s software was installed on hundreds of computers and it saved state exchequer crores of rupees. A Kashmir Life report

His biggest achievement was Naqash software that changed the designing aspect of carpet industry. The design of every individual carpet is translated into a special script called Taleem written on paper scrolls which are later interpreted by weavers and translated into design. It is a tedious process and sometimes bad quality paper or illegible ink mars the whole design of the carpet. Naqash digitized the Taleem script to make it simpler, accurate, easier and fast. Launched in 1998, Naqash soon became widely popular and at present almost entire Taleem script in Kashmir is written on this software. The software can even be used to convert foreign, intricate and even lost from photographs.

Khan also designed software for Kashmir University to digitize tens of thousands of its old newspapers, a boon for the scholars. His next big thing is a portable dyeing machine for handicrafts industry. “A typical desktop printer has four primary colours and it combines these four to produce 15 million shades,” said Khan. “I thought when a printer can do such a thing why can’t it be replicated at a bigger level.”

After three years of hard work Khan succeeded in building the portable dyeing machine. The machine is expected to be launched in the coming months. The machine can produce 15 million shades and all of them can be repeated in its rich database. At present, the dye is usually done in pots heated on fire and it is hard to maintain temperature in such conditions leading to low quality dyes.

After the successful Naqash software, he got offer from Microsoft USA besides Topcon Japan wanted to engage him as All India Consultant, but nothing could lure Khan away from him homeland.


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