Hindi, official language

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Hindi in higher courts

Hindi can’t be thrust upon judges: Govt

The Times of India TNN | Jan 16, 2015

The government expressed stiff opposition to amend the Constitution to make Hindi an official language of functioning in high courts and the Supreme Court and relied on 18th Law Commission report which also came to the conclusion that making Hindi a compulsory language in the apex court is not feasible.

NEW DELHI: Hindi can't be made an official language for conducting court proceedings in higher judiciary as it would hamper judicial work, the Centre has told the Supreme Court saying that no language should be thrust upon judges.

The government expressed stiff opposition to amend the Constitution to make Hindi an official language of functioning in high courts and the Supreme Court and relied on 18th Law Commission report which also came to the conclusion that making Hindi a compulsory language in the apex court is not feasible.

"At any rate no language should be thrust upon the judges of the higher judiciary and they should be left free to deliver their judgments in the language they prefer. It is important to remember that every citizen, every court has the right to understand the law laid down finally by this court and at present one should appreciate that such language is only English," the government said in its affidavit.

It said the judicial administration would be seriously impaired and quality of its judges and of its judgment would suffer if Hindi is made official language.

"It (English) is not merely a vehicle of thought and expression but for judges at the higher level, it is an integral part of their decision making process. Judges have to hear and understand the submission of both the sides, apply the law to adjust their equities. Arguments are generally made in higher court in English and the basic literature under the Indian system is primarily based on English and American text books and case laws. Thus judges at the higher level should be left free to evolve own pattern of delivering judgments," it said.

The Centre filed its response in compliance with the apex court order seeking its stand on a PIL for making Hindi official language for higher judiciary.

The court last year had issued notice to the Centre on a plea seeking its direction to the government to amend the Constitution for making Hindi official language for court proceedings.

Petitioner Shiv Sagar Tiwari, a lawyer, submitted that using English as an official language in higher judiciary is a legacy of British rule which should be done away with. He termed the termed the language as "Gulami Bhasha".

’Speeches by central, state ministers only in Hindi’

All speeches by President, ministers may be in Hindi, April 18, 2017: The Times of India


Speeches by central and state government ministers could be delivered only in Hindi if the recommendations of a parliamentary panel, accepted by President Pranab Mukherjee recently , are implemented.

Mukherjee has accepted some recommendations of the committee of Parliament on official languages which state: “All dignitaries including Hon'ble President and all the ministers especially who can read and speak Hindi may be requested to give their speechstatement in Hindi only. The committee, headed by former Union minister P Chidambaram, made these recommendations in 2011.

At present, most speeches by the President and central ministers are in English, accompanied on major occasions by a Hindi translation. Though Hindi-speaking states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan conduct official business predominantly in Hindi, speeches by central government functionaries, file work and statements are predominantly in English.

The move is expected to impact central ministers the most and may mean that most statements or speeches made in Parliament or government functions would be in Hindi, accompanied by a text of English translation.

Another recommendation that has been accepted says that national carrier Air India should use Hindi in its tickets.The recommendation was for all Indian airlines but the President has restricted his approval only for Air India.

The national carrier will also be expected to beef up its reading list to include Hindi newspapers and magazines. The committee was of the opinion that the language is grossly neglected and announcements both for railways and airlines should be in Hindi, followed by English.

Some of the recommendations that were not accepted include fixing a minimum level of knowledge of Hindi for bureaucracy and making Hindi education compulsory up to Class X. The committee had also suggested that posts related to Hindi promotion be created in various ministries besides greater spending on Hindi advertisements.

School curriculums

CBSE’s language policy

Manash Gohain, CBSE: No change in language policy, April 20, 2017: The Times of India


The chairperson of Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Wednesday said there was “no change in its language policy“ to make Hindi compulsory till class X in CBSE schools.

The statement followed reports of “in-principle“ approval to a parliamentary committee's recommendations in Hindi language which also include making study of the language compulsory till Class X. The CBSE has asked for the document to study it.

The Board follows a three-language formula till class VIII and two-language formula till class X with English as the mandatory language. In classes IX and X, students of CBSE schools either opt for a foreign language or Hindi or Sanskrit along with mandatory English.

CBSE had recently proposed to the ministry of human resource development to implement the three-language formula till Class X but there was no recommendation to make the study of any language compulsory .

However, the proposal recommends keeping study of a foreign language out of the ambit of the three-language formula. This means the foreign language will be an additional non-qualifying subject.

See also

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

Hindi, official language

Hindi language, the spread of

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