With the recent announcement regarding adoption of Hindi and local languages as the medium of instruction in educational institutions, it still remains a matter of debate as India is a country with multiple languages and ethnicity in a common state.
More than 700 languages are spoken in India. However, India has no national language. According to the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution, there are 22 scheduled or official languages which are given official acceptance and support. Article 343 of the Constitution of India states that the official language of the Union is Hindi in Devanagari script. English continues to be in official use for 15 years since 1947. A later constitutional amendment, the Official Languages Act, 1963, allowed English to continue indefinitely along with Hindi in the Government of India until a law decided to replace it.
Salient Features of the Report of the Committee on Languages
A high-powered committee by the Ministry of Education constituted the Indian Language Committee in November 2021. The committee has been tasked to prepare an action plan for the development of Indian languages as prescribed under the National Policy on Education (NEP) 2020. The medium of instruction in schools and higher education institutions was required to be the mother tongue.
Recommendations of the Committee on the 2021 Report
The language used for communication in administration should be Hindi, and efforts should be made to teach the curriculum in Hindi, but the latter language is not mandatory. Lower courts in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and Rajasthan already use Hindi.
High courts in other states, where proceedings are recorded in English or a regional language, may provide translations in Hindi, as judgments of high courts in other states are often cited in judgments.
The panel wants state governments to warn officials that their reluctance to use Hindi will be reflected in their Annual Performance Assessment Report (APAR).
The idea of mother tongue is also western. Ivan Ilyich in Vernacular Values wrote that the word mother tongue came to India only through English in the 18th century and, as an idea, mother tongue as a territorial claim to the Abbey of Gorges (now in France) in the 11th century. emerged and is inseparable. An open online course platform of the central government is offering some popular courses in Indian languages as well. Ten states have accepted Indian languages such as Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Bengali as the medium of instruction for engineering courses.