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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 14 August, 2020

  • 5 Min Read

Amend Official languages Act,1963

Amend Official languages Act,1963

Context:

Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde suggested that the government should consider amending the Official Languages Act of 1963 to:

  • Include more vernacular languages in governance.
  • Not just confine it to Hindi and English.

Background:

  • The court was hearing an appeal filed by the Union of India challenging the legality of a Delhi High Court judgment to translate the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2020 into all 22 vernacular languages in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.
  • The high court had allowed the plea holding that EIA notification should be translated and published in all the scheduled languages.

Scheduled languages:

  • Scheduled languages are those languages that are listed in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution and are given official recognition and encouragement by the Central Government.
  • However, all official communication and publication of rules and notifications by the Central Government are in Hindi and English.
  • As per Article 343 of the Constitution, the official language of the Union is Hindi along with English.
  • Further, section 3 of the Official Languages Act states that Hindi and English shall be used for resolutions, general orders, rules, notifications, administrative or other reports made by the Central Government or any of its ministries or departments.

8th Schedule of the Constitution:

  • The Eighth Schedule of the Constitution consists of 22 languages.
  • Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution.
  • The Sindhi language was added in 1967 by 21st Constitutional Amendment act.
  • Thereafter, three more languages viz., Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in 1992 by 71st Constitutional Amendment act.
  • Subsequently, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali were added in 2004 by 92st Constitutional Amendment act.

Source: TH


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