Banks asked to enable core banking in Hindi

President Ram Nath Kovind had accepted recommendations, which include ‘financial services in Hindi.’   | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

The Home Ministry has asked all banks, private and public sector, to enable their core banking facility in Hindi.

Prabhas Kumar Jha, Secretary, Department of Official Language told The Hindu that banks have been asked to update databases in Hindi and customers should not be compelled to fill forms only in English.

“Software that would help banks transact in Hindi has already been developed by Infosys. Banks should modulate the software in such a way that a customer can get the passbook in Hindi. It should also be in regional languages. Some banks in Gujarat and Maharashtra have done it. ATMs already have a Hindi option,” said Mr. Jha.

He said that as per the Official Languages Act, 1963 there was no provision of punitive action for not using Hindi in official communication but the language could only be promoted through “persuasion and encouragement.”

Last year, the Official Language department pulled out a 2011 report of the parliamentary standing committee on Hindi and sent it to the then President of India Pranab Mukherjee for his approval in April. As many as 110 out of 117 recommendations in the report were accepted. The Home Ministry issued an advisory to all States and government departments to implement the recommendations.

A Home Ministry official said the recommendations were not mandatory. In August, President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the remaining recommendations which include “financial services in Hindi.”

Mr. Jha said though States were free to choose their language, Hindi-speaking States should also learn other regional languages like Tamil.

Promoting Hindi

“Crores of people speak Hindi, you cannot escape this language. We want to promote Hindi as a link language…young people from southern States want to learn Hindi for employment opportunities,” he said.

In April, DMK leader M.K. Stalin had accused the BJP government at the Centre of imposing Hindi on “non-Hindi speaking” States and turning India into “Hindia.”

In July Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah wrote to the Centre stating that Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation should redesign its signboards without using Hindi language and script.

Mr. Jha said Hindi was used on signboards in Bangalore Metro as it came under the Central Act and was in consonance with the three-language policy of the Centre. He said a mobile app Lila that would help people learn Hindi has already been launched. “The app has a dictionary with over four lakh words. We are promoting popular words of Hindi. For example, demonetisation is popularly known as notebandi. We are trying to incorporate this in our dictionary,” said Mr. Jha.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 11:13:25 PM |

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