Polity Study Material: Languages


The official language of the Union is Hindi in Devnagari script and international form of Indian numerals is used for official purposes. For a period of fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution, English was to continue for official purposes of the Union. If at the end of 15 years, Hindi was not able to replace English, Parliament could provide for the use of English for specific purposes. The Constitution also lays down that the legislature of a State may, by law, adopt any one or more of the languages for use in the State, but Hindi is to be used for all official purposes of the Union.

The need for use of English in the proceedings of the Supreme Court, High Courts, etc. and in bills and enactments has been recognized. The Official Language Act of 1967 has provided for the use of English indefinitely. It has been provided that the Centre will carry on the correspondence with non-Hindi-speaking States in English and with, the Hindi-speaking States in Hindi.