Languages Act implications

January 12, 2018 01:05 am | Updated 01:05 am IST

The implications of the Official Languages Act, which received the assent of the President yesterday [January 10], were explained here [New Delhi] to-day [January 11] by an official spokesman. According to him, no employee in the Central Government will be compelled to work in Hindi, nor will anyone be compelled not to work in Hindi. No inconvenience will be caused to any employee who does not know Hindi, or knows Hindi only. For their convenience, translations will be given to them in the language known to them, and it will not be the responsibility of the person, who writes the note, to translate it in the other language. Also, no inconvenience will be caused to the general public, as work in Government departments, which maintain contact with the public, will be in both the languages. Both the languages will be used for resolutions, general orders, rules, notifications, administrative or other reports, or Press communiques issued by the Central Government or by a corporation or company owned or controlled by the Central Government. The two languages will also be used for contracts and agreements executed, all licences, permits, notices and forms of tender issued, by or on behalf of the Central Government. Both the languages will be used for administrative and other reports and official papers laid before the Houses of Parliament. The Act seeks to continue the use of English for official purposes, and does not interfere with the rights of the State administration and their legislatures to transact business in the language of their choice. The State Governments are free to use any language they want for their official work. It does not force any non-Hindi State to send or receive letters from the Central Government or any State Government in any language other than English. So far as High Courts and Supreme Courts are concerned, they would continue to transact business in English, except that the Governor of State may, with the previous consent of the President, authorise a High Court to switch over to the use of the regional language in addition to English. According to the Act, English will be continued as long as desired by all the States which have not adopted Hindi as their official language.

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