Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India

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The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India. At the time when the Constitution was enacted, inclusion in this list meant that the language was entitled to representation on the Official Languages Commission,[1] and that the language would be one of the bases that would be drawn upon to enrich Hindi, the official language of the Union.[2] The list has since, however, acquired further significance. The Government of India is now under an obligation to take measures for the development of these languages, such that "they grow rapidly in richness and become effective means of communicating modern knowledge".[3] In addition, a candidate appearing in an examination conducted for public service is entitled to use any of these languages as the medium in which he or she answers the paper.[4]

As per Articles 344(1) and 351 of the Indian Constitution, the eighth schedule includes the recognition of the following 22 languages:[5]

Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Subsequently, Sindhi was added in 1967 by 21st constitutional amendment act; Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were added in 1992 by 71st Constitutional Amendment Act; and Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santali were added in 2003 by 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act.[6]

Demand for more languages for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule[edit]

At present, as per Ministry of Home Affairs,[7] there are demands for inclusion of 42 more languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. These are:


  1. ^ Constitution of India, Article 344(1).
  2. ^ Constitution of India, Article 351.
  3. ^ Official Languages Resolution, 1968, para. 2. Archived March 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Official Languages Resolution, 1968, para. 4. Archived March 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The Constitution of India by P. M. Bakshi
  6. ^ http://mha.nic.in/hindi/sites/upload_files/mhahindi/files/pdf/Eighth_Schedule.pdf
  7. ^ http://mha.nic.in/hindi/sites/upload_files/mhahindi/files/pdf/Eighth_Schedule.pdf