Official Language Resolution Passed - [January 18, 1968] This Day in History

On 18 January 1968, the Official Language Resolution was passed by both Houses of Parliament. This Resolution was passed to build a comprehensive program to increase the use of Hindu language for official purposes by the Union of India. In this article, you can read about the Official Language Resolution and its implications on India.

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What is the Official Language Resolution?

  1. As per Article 343(1) of the Constitution of India, Hindi in Devanagari script shall be the official language of the Union.
  2. Article 343(2) provided that English shall also be continued to be used in official work of the Union for a period of 15 years from the date of commencement of the constitution, i.e., up to the 25th of January 1965.
  3. Again, article 343(3) made provisions for the continuation of English even after 25th January 1965 by empowering the parliament to make laws to that effect.
  4. Accordingly, the Official Languages Act, 1963 was passed which provided for the continued use of English even after the said date in 1965.
  5. As per the Act, both English and Hindi shall be used for certain specified purposes like resolutions, rules, general orders, notifications, press communiqués, administrative and other reports, licenses, tenders, etc.
  6. The government of India has many measures and policies with regard to the promotion of Hindi all over the country as the medium of expression in official work, and this is done in accordance with the various laws and statutory provisions which are: Official Languages Act, 1963; Official Language Resolution, 1968; Official Languages Rules, 1976; Orders of the President on the recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on Official Language; and the general targets and guidelines in the annual programme of the Department of Official Language. The Department of Official Language was formed in June 1975.

Official Language Resolution

  1. As per the Official Language Resolution of 1968, the government shall adopt a more comprehensive programme to accelerate the spread of Hindi for official use by the Union. The resolution also says that an annual measure of progress achieved in this regard will be tabled on both Houses of Parliament, and the same shall be sent to all the State governments as well.
    • As per the resolution, measures should be taken to advance the 14 major languages mentioned in the eighth schedule of the constitution (at present there are 22 languages in this schedule).
    • The resolution advocates the implementation of the three-language formula in the country. As per this arrangement, full measures should be taken for the study of Hindi, English and any other modern Indian language (preferably from the southern states) in the Hindi-speaking regions, and for the study of Hindi, English and the regional language in the non-Hindi speaking states.
    • As per the resolution, the knowledge of either Hindi or English shall be compulsory for the selection of candidates to the various posts in the central government; except in cases where a high standard of either of the languages or both were required in certain services.
    • The resolution also states that all languages in the eighth schedule shall be allowed as an alternate media for all India central services examinations.
  2. The various schemes of the government to promote Hindi include Hindi Training Scheme in different parts of the country to impart training in Hindi language, stenography and typing.
  3. The Rajbhasha Gaurav Puraskar Yojana was started in 2015 to encourage book-writing in Hindi especially in the stream of modern knowledge and science.
  4. The Rajbhasa Kirti Puraskar would be given to ministries, departments, PSUs and banks for outstanding promotional work of Hindi as the official language.
  5. The Kendriya Hindi Samiti was formed in 1967 chaired by the Prime Minister. This is the apex policy-making body that frames guidelines for the propagation of Hindi as the official language.
  6. A Committee of Parliament on Official Language was constituted in 1976 in review the progress made in the official usage of Hindi.
  7. “Rajbhasha Bharati” is a quarterly magazine published by the Department of Official Language and is dedicated to encouraging Hindi writing in the fields of technology, information, literature, etc.
  8. To lay down the rules of official language policy, the states in India have been classified as follows based on the prevalence of Hindi.
    • Region A: Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
    • Region B: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and the union territory of Chandigarh.
    • Region C: All the states and UTs other than the ones mentioned above.
Also on this day

1842: Birth of Mahadev Govind Ranade, scholar and social reformer. 1936: Death of Rudyard Kipling, English author and Nobel laureate. 1996: Death of N T Rama Rao, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. 2003: Death of Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Hindi poet.

See previous ‘This Day in History’ here.


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