Legal provisions for Constitution of Committee of Parliament on Official Language

CPOL came into existence in accordance with the provisions of Official Language Act, 1963. This Act was formed for deciding the Official Language Policy of the Union to be adopted after 15 yrs i.e. 26 Jan. 1965 for adoption of Hindi for official purposes of the Union as per envisaged in the Constitution. Section 4 (1) of the Act has provision that after the expiry of ten years from the date on which Section 3 comes into force (i.e. 26 Jan. 1965), CPOL will be constituted. Accordingly, from Jan. 1976, CPOL was constituted as per the provisions of the Act. Duties of the Committee – To review the progress made in the use of Hindi for the official purpose of the Union & submit a report to the President making recommendations. Thereon, President shall cause the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament & sent to all the State Governments. While submitting its report, it is mandatory for the Committee that to dispose off its work in correct manner & to provide a correct measure, it should take a brief interpretation of provisions of the Constitution, reg. Official Language Presidential Orders given time-to-time, recommendations of the constituted Kher Aayog & Pant committee reg. Official Language, Official Language Act & Rules and Resolutions passed by the Parliament etc.

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Official Language Committee (1957) According to the part (4) of Article, 344 of the Constitution, Committee of Parliament on Official Language consisting of 30 members (20 from Lok Sabha & 10 from Rajya Sabha) was constituted in Sep. 1957, who has to present its report to the President, after inspection of Official Language Commission recommendations. After detailed discussions, Committee has submitted its report to the President on 8th Feb, 1959 under the chairmanship of the then Home Minister, Sh. Govind Ballabh Pant. Commission & Committee both are of the view that use of English be continued after 26 Jan. 1965 as “Co – official Language”. Though, use of Indian Languages has become a practical necessity for the official purposes of the Union, however this linguistic change over from English to Hindi should be done spontaneously slowly & keeping this in view, Committee gave importance to the provisions of Article 351 of the Constitution which has the provision that growth of Hindi may be done in a way that it can be a medium of express be given for the use of simple & understandable words. Committee suggested that usage of English as medium of examination may be continued for recruitments in All India Services & higher Central Services & after some time Hindi may be added as an alternate medium. Report was discussed in Lok Sabha from 2 to 4 Sep. 1959 & Prime Minister gave a statement in Lok Sabha. On the question of Official Language explaining the view the govt. he repeated that English should be made helping or additional language & it can be used by any state govt. for correspondence with Govt of India or other states. He further cleared that till non – Hindi regions agree to discontinue the use of English language no time limit will be there in this regard.

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Drafting & Evidence Sub – committee In addition to receive Information/views from general public & the employees of Central Govt. through written answers in prescribed questionnaires, Questionnaire Committee felt the need to exchange views with the relevant dignitaries from various regions & on 7 April 1980, it was decided that an evidence Committee, consisting of Convenors of three sub-committee, which are formed for the purpose of inspections, may be constituted which decides the questionnaire for reply by the invitees, the list of invitees, place of evidence inspection reg. all the preliminary processes & then inform the Committee. In accordance to the Committee’s meeting held on 7th April 1980, it has been decided in the meeting held on 10th April 1981 that the sub – committee of the three Convenors has to discuss the preparation of the contents of the Report to be presented to President of India according to the subject under consideration. In the 10th meeting of the Committee held on 29 Aug. 1986, while reconstituting this sub – committees, Dr. Rudr Pratap Singh, Dy. Chairman & Convernor of Ist sub – committee, Sh N. Tombi Singh, Convenor 2nd sub – committee, Sh. V. Tulsiram, Convenor 3rd sub – committee, Sh. Naresh Chander Charturvedi & Smt. Veena Verma were nominated as members of this sub – committee. Accodingly, this sub – committee has conducted 17 meeting & in addition to the recommendations made for various parts of report of the Committee, it has prepared 23 types of Questionnaires for evidence of invited dignitaries. Sub – committee has also prepared the draft of Ist part of the report, which is being presented.

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Sub – Committees regarding Inspections In the first ever meeting of the Committee, it has been decided to constitute three sub–committee for on-the-spot inspection & to review the status of usage of Hindi in various dept./Undertakings/offices.

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