Official Language and Schedules of the Constitution

Q. Official Language and Schedules of the Constitution

Under Article 343, Hindi in Devanagari script was accepted as the official language of the Union. But, for a period of fifteen years from the commencement of the Constitution, the English language was allowed to be used for all the official purposes of the Union.

Even thereafter Parliament could by law provide for the use of English for any specified purposes. Parliament has enacted the Official Languages Act, 1963 for this purpose.

Besides Hindi, our Constitution also recognizes other languages and the need for their development.

The 18 languages of India are listed in the Eighth Schedule and are the following – Assamese, Bengali, Gujarat, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Schedules of the Constitution

The Constitution contains 12 Schedules which provide details about the various aspects of the Constitution.

Schedule One –Territories of the 25 States and 7 Union Territories of India

Schedule Two – Salaries allowances etc, of the President, Vice- President, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Judges of Supreme Court etc.

Schedule Three – Forms of oaths of affirmations

Schedule Four – Allotment of seats in the Rajya Sabha to States and Union Territories

Schedule Five and Six – Provisions relating to administration of Scheduled areas and Tribal areas

Schedule Seven – Union List, State List and Concurrent List

Schedule Eight – 18 languages

Schedule Nine – contains certain acts and regulations dealing with land reforms and abolition of zamindari system which are protected from judicial scrutiny.

Schedule Ten – Important provisions regarding disqualifications on grounds of defection

Schedule Eleven – this lists 29 subjects on which the Panchayats have been given administrative control

Schedule Twelve – this contains 18 subjects on which the Municipalities have been given administrative control

This above reading of the constitution makes it amply clear that the makers of the constitution envisaged it as a body of law to make India a vibrant democracy in true sense of the term.

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