Part XVII of the Constitution deals with the official language in Articles 343 to 351. Its provisions are divided into four heads—Language of the Union, Regional languages, Language of the judiciary and texts of laws and Special directives.
LANGUAGE OF THE UNION
The Constitution contains the following provisions in respect of the official language of the Union.
1. Hindi written in Devanagari script is to be the official language of the Union. But, the form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union has to be the international form of Indian numerals and not the Devanagari form of numerals.
2. However, for a period of fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution (i.e., from 1950 to 1965), the English language would continue to be used for all the official purposes.
The Constitution does not specify the official language of different states. In this regard, it makes the following provisions: . The legislature of a state may adopt any one or more of the languages in use in the state or Hindi as the official language of that state. Until that is done, English is to continue as official language of that state.
Development of Hindi Language
COMMITTEE OF PARLIAMENT ON OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
The Official Language Act (1963) provided for the setting up of a Committee of Parliament on Official Language to review the progress made in the use of Hindi for the official purpose of the Union. Under the Act, this Committee was to be constituted after ten years of the promulgation of the Act (i.e., 26th January, 1965). Accordingly, this Committee was set up in 1976. This Committee comprises of 30 members of Parliament, 20 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha.
CLASSICAL LANGUAGE STATUS
In 2004, the Government of India decided to create new category of languages called as '"classical languages".
In 2006, it laid down the criteria for conferring the classical language status.six language are granted to classical language - Tamil, Sanskrit, telugu, Kannada, malayalam, odia.
Once a language is declared classical, it gets financial assistance for setting up a centre of excellence for the study of that language and also opens up an avenue for two major awards for scholars of eminence.
Bill to Change Stature of Official Languages
Why in News
Recently, a private member’s bill was introduced in the ongoing Winter Session of the Parliament to give all 22 languages mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution the stature of national official languages.
What the Bill Proposes
This proposed (Constitutional Amendment) Bill seeks to amend:
Committee on Official Languages
|1. What is the official language of India?|
|2. Is it mandatory for all Indian citizens to know the official language?|
|3. Can regional languages be used for official purposes in India?|
|4. Are there any provisions for language minorities in India?|
|5. What is the role of English as an official language in India?|