Official languages for state
- September 16, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
On the agenda of the ongoing monsoon session in Parliament is a bill to introduce Hindi, Kashmiri and Dogri as official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to English and Urdu.
- Part XVII of the Constitution deals with the official language in Articles 343 to 351
- 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.
- Under this provision, most of the states have adopted the major regional language as their official language. For example, Andhra Pradesh has adopted Telugu, Kerala—Malayalam, Assam—Assamese, West Bengal—Bengali, Odisha—Odia.
- Notably, the choice of the state is not limited to the languages enumerated in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
- For the time being, the official language of the Union (i.e., English) would remain the link language for communications between the Union and the states or between various states. But, two or more states are free to agree to use Hindi (instead of English) for communication between themselves.
- The Official Language Act (1963) lays down that English should be used for purposes of communication between the Union and the non-Hindi states (that is, the states that have not adopted Hindi as their official language). Further, where Hindi is used for communication between a Hindi and a non-Hindi state, such communication in Hindi should be accompanied by an English translation.
- When the President (on a demand being made) is satisfied that a substantial proportion of the population of a state desire the use of any language spoken by them to be recognised by that state, then he may direct that such language shall also be officially recognised in that state. This provision aims at protecting the linguistic interests of minorities in the states