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The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India. At the time when the Constitution was enacted, inclusion in this list meant that the language was entitled to representation on the Official Languages Commission,[1] and that the language would be one of the bases that would be drawn upon to enrich Hindi and English, the official languages of the Union.[2] The list has since, however, acquired further significance. The Government of India is now under an obligation to take measures for the development of these languages, such that "they grow rapidly in richness and become effective means of communicating modern knowledge."[3] In addition, a candidate appearing in an examination conducted for public service is entitled to use any of these languages as the medium in which he or she answers the paper.[4]

As per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages:[5]

  1. Assamese
  2. Bengali
  3. Bodo
  4. Dogri
  5. Gujarati
  6. Hindi
  7. Kannada
  8. Kashmiri
  9. Konkani
  10. Maithili
  11. Malayalam
  12. Meitei (Manipuri)
  13. Marathi
  14. Nepali
  15. Odia
  16. Punjabi
  17. Sanskrit
  18. Santhali
  19. Sindhi
  20. Tamil
  21. Telugu
  22. Urdu

Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Subsequently, Sindhi was added in 1967 by 21st Constitutional Amendment Act; Konkani, Manipuri (Meitei) and Nepali were added in 1992 by 71st Constitutional Amendment Act; and Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santali were added in 2003 by 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act.[6] The spelling Oriya was replaced by Odia by 96th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011.

Demand for more languages for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule

At present, as per the Ministry of Home Affairs,[7] there are demands for inclusion of 38 more languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. These are:

  1. Angika
  2. Banjara
  3. Bajjika
  4. Bhojpuri
  5. Bhoti
  6. Bhotia
  7. Bundelkhandi
  8. Chhattisgarhi
  9. Dhatki
  10. English
  11. Garhwali (Pahari)
  12. Gondi
  13. Gujjari
  14. Ho
  15. Kachachhi
  16. Kamtapuri
  17. Karbi
  18. Khasi
  19. Kodava
  20. Kok Barak (Tripuri)
  21. Kumaoni (Pahari)
  22. Kurukh
  23. Kurmali
  24. Lepcha
  25. Limbu
  26. Mizo (Lushai)
  27. Magahi
  28. Mundari
  29. Nagpuri (Sadri)
  30. Nicobarese
  31. Pahari (Himachali)
  32. Pali
  33. Rajasthani
  34. Sambalpuri / Kosali
  35. Shaurseni (Prakit)
  36. Saraiki
  37. Tenyidi
  38. Tulu

References

  1. ^ Constitution of India, Article 344(1).
  2. ^ Constitution of India, Article 351.
  3. ^ Official Languages Resolution, 1968, para. 2. Archived March 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Official Languages Resolution, 1968, para. 4. Archived March 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The Constitution of India by P. M. Bakshi
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)