Official Language

  • Part XVII of the Constitution deals with official language in Art. 343 to 351.
  • Hindi in Devanagari script is the official language of the Union. The form of numerals to be used for official purposes of the Union is the international form of Indian numerals {Article 343 (1) of the Constitution}. In addition to Hindi language, English language may also be used for official purposes. (Section 3 of the Official Languages Act)
  • Business in Parliament may be transacted in English or in Hindi. However, the Hon’ble Chairman of the Rajya Sabha or the Hon’ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha may permit any Member to address the House in his/her mothertongue under special circumstances (Article 120 of the Constitution).
  •  The official language commission was appointed in 1955 under Shri B.G. Kher as chairman.
  •  Subsequently, the Parliament enacted the Official Language Act in 1963.
  •  The act provides for the continued use of English (even after 1965), in addition to Hindi, for all official purposes of the Union and also for the transaction of business in Parliament.
  • Further, this act was amended in 1967 to make the use of English, in addition to Hindi, compulsory in certain cases. The languages included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution are: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malyalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepalese, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Maithili, Santhali, Dogri and Bodo.