Official Languages of India, States and their languages

The article gives detail insights about the Official languages of India and status of Hindi as a Official Language. This article also describes the journey and evolution of official languages of India.

Article and Schedule of Constitution dealing Official Languages of India

The constitution of India, in 1950, recognized Hindi in Devanagari script as the official language of Union as per Article 343. The constitution also identifies the regional languages as the official languages of states(Article 345). Originally English was recognized as Legislative and Judicial language as per Article 348 of constitution.

Article 343 of constitution provides that for a period of 15 years from commencement of constitution (i.e. from 1950), The English language shall continue for official purposes of the Union. It was expected that after expiry of 15 years (i.e. from 1965) Hindi will replace English completely and will remain the only official language

Implementation of Hindi as the only official language caused much unrest and protest in the southern states where Hindi is not a mother tongue. As a result of this Official Languages Act was passed in 1963, which gave English the status of secondary official language and it was clear that English can also be used for official use along with Hindi.

Subsequent developments have turned the current in favor of continuing English as the official language. No definite date was being fixed for elimination of English and replacement by Hindi. Intra- state official correspondence started to be used in Official language of state, while inter state and state-centre correspondence started to be used either in Hindi or English.

Eighth Schedule of Constitution for Official Languages

As per Eighth Schedule of constitution, only 15 of the regional state languages were given the status of official languages of states. These languages were – 1) Assamese, 2) Bengali, 3) Gujarati, 4) Hindi, 5) Kannada, 6) Kashmiri, 7) Malayalam, 8) Marathi, 9) Oriya, 10) Punjabi, 11) Sanskrit, 12) Tamil, 13) Telugu, 14)Urdu, 15) Sindhi

Important Constitutional Amendments for Official Languages  of India

  • 71st Amendment of Constitution for Official Languages

By the 71st amendment of constitution Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were also added in 1992 making the official languages count to 18.

  • 92nd Amendment of Constitution for  Official Languages

Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santali were added in the 92nd amendment of constitution thus making total official languages list to 22.

Official Languages of India

Language Map of India

 Indian States and their Official Languages


StateOfficial Languages
Andhra PradeshTelugu, Urdu
Arunachal PradeshEnglish
AssamAssamese, English, Bengali
BiharHindi, Urdu
ChhattisgarhHindi, Chhattisgarhi
GoaKonkan, Marathi, English
HaryanaHindi, Punjabi
Himachal PradeshHindi, English
Jammu & KashmirUrdu, English
JharkhandSantali, Oriya, Bengali
KeralaMalyalam, English
Madhya PradeshHindi
ManipurManipuri, English
MeghalayaEnglish, Garo, Khasi
Tamil NaduTamil, English
TelanganaTelugu, Urdu
TripuraBengali, Kokborok
Uttar PradeshHindi, Urdu
UttarakhandHindi, Sanskrit
West BengalBengali, English, Nepali

Union Territories and their Official Languages

Union TerritoryOfficial Languages
Andaman & Nicobar IslandsHindi, English
Dadra & Nagar HaveliEnglish
Daman & DiuKonkani, Marathi, Gujarati
Lakshdweep IslandsEnglish
PuducherryTamil, French, English

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