Why Unicode Devanagari cannot take the Crown of a Standard.

Have you ever seen the Unicode Code Chart for Devanagari? If not, please take look at


Now can anybody answer following questions and provide some logical answers?

1. Why does the chart have Vowel Signs (like ु) and Vowel Symbols (like अु = उ) BOTH? The Vowel Symbols can be accurately expressed as the combination of अ and respective Vowel Sign?

2. If it was the intention why there is no separate place for these vowels and has only signs: अं, अः They are left to be expressed as a combination of 2 characters. i.e. Vowel अ and the respective vowel signs for anuswar and visarg?

3. If we assume that the criteria was that the Glyph (Visual appearance) is different as in case of इ or उ then why was a separate character (CODE POINT) required for आ ?

4. Interesting to note is following are valid Vowel - Symbol combinations with अ!

Now again strangely, following are shown correctly in this blog / Internet explorer but not in MS Word except the last 2

अि अी अु अू अे अै अं अः

Which means it is left to the interpretation of the OS, rendering engine, receiving application and the font itself.

5. Following combinations are not even shown correctly in the internet explorer application

अ‍‍ा अो अौ

6. If we think rationally that the chart has placed both Vowel Signs (like ु) and Vowel Symbols (like अु = उ), then again we are wrong! अं & अः being valid Vowels do not have a space in the Unicode chart!!

7. While the chart has no place for half consonant characters that have distictive identity both Grapical and Pronunciative, it finds place for some Silly virtually non-existant characters such as ऄ ऒ ऎ ॆ ॊ

8. Where Unicode plays with the basic building blocks of the script - Vowels in this fashion, why characters with Nukta not coded with the character followed by the nukta character 093c (़). For example, (U+0915 U+093c) क ़ = क़ but has another code U+0958 (क़). Same is done for 10 more such characters

9. On similar lines, for Sindhi Implosives, why it cannot use (U+0917 U+0952) ग ॒ = ग॒ but has another code U+097b (ॻ). same is done for 3 more such character codes

10. In marathi letters ksha क्ष and dnya ज्ञ are assumed to be whole consonants. They make a place in very basic kindergarden books "anklipi" and appears in the basic lists of consonants in Marathi. However, Unicode treats them as a "jodakshar" combination characters as क,for क्ष ‍and ज, ञ for ज्ञ. Although pronunciation-wise the combination appear equivalant, the Hindi pronuntiation of the later combination character does not represent ज्ञ. For Hindi pronuntiation equivalance the combination should have been ग and य as in ज्ञान. But the basic thing is that, क्ष and ज्ञ should have got there own code place in the chart that it has not.


  1. Hi Kiran,
    Thanks for starting this vital blog.
    We would be eagerly waiting for your views and input, as well as input from other experts from this field.
    Also, please enlighten us about this whole font mess starting right from Marathi Typewrites. We would like to have the entire history of this problem put on the net along with the GREAT work done by CDAC so that everyone is aware of all the aspects relating to Devnagaree Fonts.

  2. Thanks. Just added few more posts. Please keep commenting on the blog and I'll keep revising and correcting the contents of this blog as accurate as possible.

  3. Very informative. Well written.
    But what is the solution to this? Can we make a representation to the people who maintain these standards?

  4. Hello Kiran,

    thanks for the information,

    Can we use non-unicode fonts on Windows 7, Vista or newer Windows OS etc ?


    1. Yes, Kiran fonts can be used on any operating system that supports English True type fonts.

  5. Did anyone pursue these matters by using http://www.unicode.org/reporting.html? I am happy to learn, through this blog post, how to create ज्ञ.