There is no proposal to amend Official Languages Act to include Scheduled languages other than Hindi and English as its official languages, the Centre told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Member of Parliament Vaiko had asked the Ministry of Home Affairs whether there is proposal to amend Official Languages Act to include Scheduled languages other than Hindi and English as its official languages, as suggested by the Supreme Court?
In response to his query on how the people in the South and the Northeast, especially villagers could understand the communications, rules and regulations published by Government, the Ministry said that there is provision of three language formulae (Hindi, English and Regional Language) as per point no. 3 of Official Language Resolution, 1968 which have been prepared in consultation with the State Governments. "The order of usage of languages in the name-boards/notice-boards to be displayed for the information of the public by Central Government Offices which are located in non-Hindi speaking areas is to be in the order of (1) Regional Language, (2) Hindi, (3) English.", the reply reads.
Earlier, this year, the Bombay High Court has dismissed a petition praying to declare the Official Language Act, 1963 unconstitutional or in the alternate to quash and set aside Section 3(5) of the said act as unconstitutional.
While hearing an appeal against the Delhi High Court order in the matter of Draft Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2020, the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had orally remarked that the Central government should consider amending the Official Languages Act to include scheduled languages other than Hindi and English as official language of the Government of India "There might be people in Karnataka, Nagaland or rural Maharashtra who might not know Hindi or English. Your government should consider amending the Official Languages Act.."These days, translation is the easiest task between you and Google translator. In Parliament, any language is translated. We are also translating our judgments into vernacular languages... You [Centre] can bring your Act up to date,", the CJI had remarked.
The High court had directed the Environment Ministry to translate the draft policy in at least the languages mentioned in the VII Schedule of the Constitution, and make the same available on the website of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, as well as the respective Environment Ministries and State Pollution Control Boards of all respective states within a period of ten days. The review petition filed by the Ministry is pending before the High Court.