Official Language (343-351)
The Official Language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagri Script but the form of
numericals to be used for the official purposes of Union shall be the international form of
Indian numericals [Art. 343 (1)). However, for a period of fifteen years from the
commencement of the Constitution the English language shall continue to be used for all
the official purposes of the Union. Even after fifteen years, the Parliament may by law
provide for the use of English Language for specified purposes [Art. 343 (3)). Even during
this period of fifteen years, the President may authorise the use of the Hindi Language, in
addition to the English Language, and of the Devanagri forms of numericals for any
official purposes of the Union.
The Official Language of the Union shall be the official language for communication
between one State and other and between a State and the Union [Art. 346), but two or more
States may agree to have Hindi as the Official Language for communication amongst them.
Article 345 provides that the Legislature of a State may by adopt any one or more of the
languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or other languages to be used for all
or any of the official purposes of that State.
Directive for the Development of the Hindi Language
Article 351 imposes a duty on the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi Language, to
develop it so that it may serve as medium of expression for all the elements of the
composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by assimilating, without interfering
with its genius, the forms, style and expression used in Hindustani and in other languages
of India by drawing for its vocabulary primarily from Sanskrit and secondarily from other
The Parliament may also provide the use of Hindi Language in the proceedings of Supreme
Court and High Courts. Until Parliament by law otherwise provides all proceedings in the
Supreme Court and the High Courts and the authoritative Texts of Bills, Acts, Orders, etc.
shall be in English language [Art. 348).
The Governor of State may, however, with the previous consent of the President, authorise
the use of the Hindi Language or any other language for any official purposes of the State,
in proceedings in the High Court except to any judgment, decree or order passed by the
High Court (Art. 348 (2)). For fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution no
Bill or amendment making provision for the language to be used for any of those purposes
shall he introduced in either House of Parliament without the previous sanction of the
President. The President will give his sanction after taking into consideration the
recommendation of the Language Commission and the report of the Committee thereof
The Constitution imposes a duty on every State to provide adequate facilities for
instructions in the mother tongue at the primary stage of education to children belonging to
linguistic minority groups, The President may issue such directions to any State as he
considers necessary for securing the provisions of such facilities. [At. 350-A]
The President shall also appoint a Special Officer for linguistic minorities who will
investigate all matters relating to the safeguards provided for linguistic minorities. (Art.
350-B (1)). The Special Officer shall be under the duty to investigate all matters relating to
safeguards provided for linguistic minorities under this Constitution and report to the
President upon those matters at such intervals as the President may direct. The President
shall cause all such reports to be laid before each House of Parliament, and sent to the
Government of the States concerned.
If a demand is made and President is satisfied that a substantial proportion of the
population of a State desires the use of any language spoken by them to be recognised by
that State, he may direct that such language shall also be officially recognised in that State
for such purpose as he may specify (Art. 347].
The Constitution also gives right: to every person to submit a representation for the redress
of any grievance to any officer or authority of the Union or a State in any of the languages
used in the Union or in the State as the case may be [Art. 350].
Article 344 provides for the appointment of a Commission on Official Language. At the
expiration of five years from the commencement of the Constitution and after ten years,
the President shall appoint a Commission.
The Commission is to make recommendations to the President regarding
(1) progressive use of the Hindi language for the official purposes of the Union;
(2) restrictions on the use of English language for all or any of the official purposes of the
(3) the language to be used for the proceedings in the Supreme Court and the High Court
(4) the form of numericals to be used for any one or more specified purposes of the union
(5) any other matter referred to the Commission by the President as regards the Official
Language of the Union and the language for communication between the Union und a
State or between one State and another and their use.
In making recommendation, under Clause (2) the Commission shall have due regard the
industrial, cultural and scientific advancement of India, and the just claims and the interests
of persons belonging to the non-Hindi speaking areas in regard to the public services.
There shall be constituted a Committee consisting of thirty members of whom twenty will
be elected by the House of the People and ten by the Council of States, to examine the
recommendations of the Commission and to report to the President their opinion thereon.
After considering the report of the Committee the President may issue directions in
accordance with the whole or any part of the report.
The languages which are constitutionally recognized under Article 344 (1) and Article 351
are Assamese, Bengali, Bodo,’ Dogri,’ Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada,Kashmiri, Konkani,
Maithili,’ Malyalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi,
The Parliament has passed the Official Language Act, 1963, which provides for continued
use of English for official purposes of the Union indefinitely, notwithstanding expiration of
the period mentioned in Article 345. The change over to Hindi has thus added by the
Constitution (92nd Amendment) Act, 2003. Added by the Constitution (71st Amendment)
Act, 1982 Substituted by the Constitution (96th Amendment) Act, 2011. Added by the
Constitution indefinitely by permitting the use of English as an additional official language
or all purposes for which it has been so far used. The position was to be reviewed only
after January 26, 1975. It has not been reviewed so far.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.
If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at email@example.com
We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.
We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge