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Gesture recognition is a topic of immense interest in the field of computing and image processing involving numerous factors and constraints nevertheless yielding remarkable simplification of various human affairs. In this work, the problem of gesture recognition is narrowed down to that of hand gesture recognition and specifically deals with finger count extraction to facilitate further processing using the control so effected. A hand gesture recognition system has been developed, wherein the finger count in a certain input hand image is computed in accordance with a simple yet effective procedure. The problem of hand gesture recognition is solved by means of adopting a lucid albeit efficient algorithm which has been implemented using the Xilinx System Generator software tool. The algorithm followed is invariant to rotation and scale of the hand. The approach involves segmenting the hand based on skin color statistics and applying certain constraints to classify pixels as skin and non skin regions.