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Home ministry seeks to promote Hindi

To set up committees to encourage Hindi usage in each of India's 640 districts

Sahil Makkar & Archis Mohan  |  Mohan 

Amid protests from Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) chief that the Centre was trying to impose on non-speaking states, the Union on Thursday decided to set up committees to encourage the use of in each of India’s 640-odd districts. The ministry also instructed its officials to give priority to use of in their tweets, Facebook updates and official correspondence.

At the Rajnath Singh-headed home ministry, the first signs of increased use of were visible when Singh called a meeting of all joint secretaries immediately after taking over. The officers, around 20 of them heading important divisions at the ministry, were asked to speak on five slides each of the 100 slides prepared for the briefing.

The text of the slides was in English but the officers were specifically instructed to address the minister only in Most somehow managed. However, three officers, hailing neither from a Hindi-speaking state nor belonging to cadres of any North Indian state, found it nearly impossible to express their views in The experience of that meeting has left several joint secretaries nervous, with the ministry likely to switch to predominant use of Officers say they are not adept at dealing in “official Hindi”, though they are conversant in “day-to-day” The word in the ministry is that their new minister is a keen listener and makes instant observations. Sources say the minister also allows officers to be more forthcoming with their observations, and has given them the confidence that he would back them in their decisions.

At a review meeting of its Rajbhasha (official language) department on Thursday, the ministry took another step towards increased use of Junior home minister chaired the meeting which decided that all districts in India would now have committees to work towards greater use of Currently, there are 342 such committees in the country.

The meeting took exception to the fact that the ministry’s “Central Committee” had not met even once in the past three years. The committee is supposed to hold at least one meeting annually. Rijiju instructed the committee should meet immediately, stated a press statement in

It was also decided that the ministry should have a website along with its English website. The ministry also decided to extend “the experiment to increase use of the language across the country” with the help of Hindi-speaking states.