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Centre has no proposal to amend Official Languages Act: Minister Nityanand Rai tells Rajya Sabha


DELHI: There is no proposal to amend the Official Languages Act to include scheduled languages other than English and Hindi as its official languages, the Centre told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai stated this while replying to a question asked by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) founder Vaiko who enquired whether any such proposal was in the making as had been suggested by the Supreme Court.

When asked how the people in Southern and Northeastern region of the country, especially villagers would be able to comprehend rules and regulations published by the government, Rai said that there is a provision of a three-language formula (Hindi, English and regional languages) as per point no. 3 of Official Language Resolution, 1968 which have been prepared in consultation with the state governments.

“The order of usage of languages in the name-boards/notice-boards to be displayed for the information of the public by Central Government which are located in non-Hindi speaking areas is to be in the order of (1) Regional Language, (2) Hindi, (3) English,” the minister said, in a written reply.

While hearing an appeal against the Delhi High Court order in the matter of Draft Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2020, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, had orally remarked that the central government should consider amending the Official Languages Act to include scheduled languages other than Hindi and English as official languages of the Government of India.

“There may be people in Karnataka, Nagaland, or rural Maharashtra who might not know Hindi or English. Your government should consider amending the Official Languages Act. These days, translation is the easiest task between you and Google translator.

In Parliament, any language is translated. We are also translating our judgments into vernacular languages... You [Centre] can bring your Act up to date,” the CJI had remarked.