Department of Official Language
राजभाषा विभाग
Ministry of Home Affairs
Emblem of India
Ministry overview
FormedJune 1975
JurisdictionIndia Republic of India
HeadquartersNDCC-II Bhawan, 'B' Wing 4th Floor, Jai Singh Road New Delhi - 110001
Minister responsible
Deputy Minister responsible
Ministry executives
  • , IAS, Secretary
  • Dr. Minakshi Jolly, IAS, Joint Secretary
Parent departmentMinistry of Home Affairs
Child agencies
  • * Central Translation Bureau
  • * Central Hindi Training Institutes

The Department of Official Language is the Government of India's department responsible for the implementation of the provisions of the Constitution relating to official languages and the provisions of the Official Languages Act, 1963. Department of Official Language was set up in June 1975 as an independent Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs.[1]


The official languages of British India were English, Urdu and later Hindi, with English being used for purposes at the central level.[2] The Indian constitution adopted in 1950 envisaged that English would be phased out in favour of Hindi, over a fifteen-year period, but gave Parliament the power to, by law, provide for the continued use of English even thereafter.[3] Plans to make Hindi the sole official language of the Republic were met with resistance in many parts of the country. English and Hindi continue to be used today, in combination with others (at the central level and in some states) official languages.

The legal framework governing the use of languages for official purpose currently is the Official Languages Act, 1963, the Official Language Rules, 1976, and various state laws, as well as rules and regulations made by the central government and the states.

The Indian constitution, in 1950, declared Hindi in Devanagari script to be the official language of the union. Unless Parliament decided otherwise, the use of English for official purposes was to cease 15 years after the constitution came into effect, i.e., on 26 January 1965. The prospect of the changeover, however, led to much alarm in the non-Hindi-speaking areas of India, especially Dravidian-speaking states whose languages were not related to Hindi at all. As a result, Parliament enacted the Official Languages Act, 1963,[4] [5][6][7][8][9] which provided for the continued use of English for official purposes along with Hindi, even after 1965.

Department of Official Language was set up in June 1975 as an independent Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Organizational structure

Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah is the head of the department. The department is divided into four main offices.


Annual targets are set by the Department of Official Language regarding the amount of correspondence being carried out in Hindi. A Parliament Committee on Official Language constituted in 1976 periodically reviews the progress in the use of Hindi and submits a report to the President. The governmental body which makes policy decisions and established guidelines for the promotion of Hindi is the Kendriya Hindi Samiti (est. 1967). In every city that has more than ten central Government offices, a Town Official Language Implementation Committee is established and cash awards are given to government employees who write books in Hindi. All Central government offices and PSUs are to establish Hindi Cells for implementation of Hindi in their offices.[11] Department hosts various events throughout the year to promote Hindi language.[12]

Hindi Diwas

Main article: Hindi Diwas

Hindi Day (Hindi: हिन्दी दिवस; Hindī Diwas) is celebrated every year on 14 September marking the declaration of Hindi language as official language of Union government of India. On 14 September 1949, Hindi was adopted as official language in India.[13][14]


Hindi language training workshops are arranged periodically by the department.[15]


Various national awards are given to individuals as well as to other government departments for their exceptional work.

Ministry of Home Affairs in its order dated 25 March 2015 has changed name of two awards given annually on Hindi Divas. 'Indira Gandhi Rajbhasha Puraskar' instituted in 1986 changed to 'Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar' and 'Rajiv Gandhi Rashtriya Gyan-Vigyan Maulik Pustak Lekhan Puraskar' changed to "Rajbhasha Gaurav Puraskar".[18]

See also


  1. ^ "Functions of Department | Department of Official Language | Ministry of Home Affairs | GoI". Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  2. ^ Mollin, Sandra (2006). Euro-English: assessing variety status. Gunter Narr Verlag. p. 17. ISBN 978-3-8233-6250-0.
  3. ^ Kanchan Chandra, "Ethnic Bargains, Group Instability, and Social Choice Theory", Politics and Society 29, 3: 337–62.
  4. ^ "The Official Languages (Use for Official Purpose of the Union) – Rules 1976 (As Amended, 1987)". Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  5. ^ Commissioner Linguistic Minorities Archived 8 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Language in India Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow 2 April 2002 accessed 4 August 2020
  7. ^ THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT, 1963 Archived 1 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ National Portal of India: Know India: Profile Archived 17 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Committee of Parliament on Official Language report Archived 20 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "केंद्रीय हिंदी प्रशिक्षण संस्थान, Central Hindi Training Institute, Department of official Language , Government of India". Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  11. ^ "Official Language – Constitutional/Statutory Provisions". Government of India. Archived from the original on 17 April 2007.
  12. ^ "राजभाषा विभाग मनाएगा हिन्दी पखवाड़ा". Patrika News (in Hindi). 29 August 2019. Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  13. ^ "हिन्दी दिवस: हिन्दी भाषा से जुड़े 19 रोचक तथ्य, ...जानिए". Live Bihar News | लाइव बिहार न्यूज़ (in Hindi). 2019-09-14. Archived from the original on 2019-09-22. Retrieved 2019-09-22.
  14. ^ "Constitutional provisions for Hindi".
  15. ^ "Hindi Workshops | Department of Official Language | Ministry of Home Affairs | GoI". Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  16. ^ "Rajbhasha Gaurav Puraskar Resolution | Department of Official Language | Ministry of Home Affairs | GoI". Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  17. ^ "Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar Resolution | Department of Official Language | Ministry of Home Affairs | GoI". Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  18. ^ "Names of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi knocked off Hindi Diwas awards". The Economic Times. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.