Union Home Minister presided over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee

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What is the News?

The Union Home Minister has presided over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee.

What is the Parliamentary Committee on Official Language?

Setup in: 1976 under section 4 of the Official Languages Act,1963.

Mandate: The Committee shall review the progress made in the use of Hindi for the Official purposes of the Union and submit a report to the President making recommendations. The President shall then lay the report before each House of Parliament and send it to all the State Governments.

Composition: The Committee comprises 30 members of Parliament, 20 from Lok Sabha and 10 from Rajya Sabha. These members are to be elected respectively by the members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote.

Chairman: As a convention, the Union Home Minister has been the Chairman of the Committee from time to time.

Official Language of the Union

Article 343 of the Constitution of India stated that the official language of the Union is Hindi in Devanagari script, with the official use of English to continue for 15 years from 1947. 

Later, the Official Languages Act of 1963 allowed for the continuation of English alongside Hindi in the Indian government indefinitely until legislation decides to change it.

What are the key highlights from the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee?

During the meeting, Union Home Minister suggested that: 

– Hindi should be accepted as an alternative to English and not to local languages. 

– Elementary knowledge of Hindi should be given to students up to Class 9 and pay more attention to Hindi teaching examinations.

– Republish the Hindi dictionary by revising it.  

Note: Currently, 70% of the agenda of the Cabinet is prepared in Hindi. Nine tribal communities of the North East have converted their dialects’ scripts to Devanagari. Apart from this, all the eight states of the North East have agreed to make Hindi compulsory in schools up to Class X.

Source: This post is based on the article “Union Home Minister presided over the 37th meeting of the Parliamentary Official Language Committee” published in PIB on 7th April 2022.

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