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Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India

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The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the languages officially recognized by the Government of India. As of 2024, 22 languages have been classified under the schedule.


As per the Constitution of India, the provisions belonging to the eight schedule are defined in articles 344(1) and 351. Article 351 deals with the promotion of usage of Hindi by Government of India, which was declared as an official language. English was declared as an additional official language to be used for a period not exceeding 15 years and article 344(1) defined a set of 14 regional languages which were represented in the Official Languages Commission. The commission was to suggest steps to be taken to progressively promote the use of Hindi as the official language of the country.[1]

The Official Languages Act, 1963 which came into effect on 26 January 1965, made provision for the continuation of English as an official language alongside Hindi.[2] In 1968, the official language resolution was passed by the Parliament of India. As per the resolution, the Government of India was obligated to take measures for the development of the languages defined in the eighth schedule.[3]

Scheduled languages[edit]

The Eighth schedule of the Constitution defined 14 languages in 1950.[4] These included Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.[5] In 1967, 21st amendment to the constitution added Sindhi as one of the languages in the eight schedule. The 71st Amendment, enacted in 1992, included three more languages Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali to the list. In 2003, the 92nd Amendment was enacted, which added Bodo, Dogri, Santhali and Maithali, raising the total number of languages to 22.[5] In 2011, the spelling Oriya was changed to Odia by 96th amendment.[6]

As of 2024, following are the languages recognized under the eighth schedule of the Constitution of India:

Language[1] Speakers[7]
(millions, 2011)
Year included[5] Script Language family[8] States/UTs where official[9]
Assamese 15.3 1950 Bengali–Assamese Indo-Aryan Assam
Bengali 97.2 Assam, West Bengal, Tripura
Bodo 1.48 2003 Devanagari Sino-Tibetan Assam
Dogri 2.6 Indo-Aryan Jammu and Kashmir
Gujarati 55.5 1950 Gujarati Gujarat
Hindi 528 Devanagari Andaman and Nicobar, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Ladakh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal
Kannada 43.7 Kannada Dravidian Karnataka
Kashmiri 6.8 Perso-Arabic Indo-Aryan Jammu and Kashmir
Konkani 2.25 1992 Devanagari Goa
Maithili 13.6 2003 Jharkhand
Malayalam 34.8 1950 Malayalam Dravidian Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep
Manipuri 1.8 1992 Meitei Sino-Tibetan Manipur
Marathi 83 1950 Devanagari Indo-Aryan Goa, Maharashtra
Nepali 2.9 1992 Sikkim, West Bengal
Odia 37.5 1950 Odia Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal
Punjabi 33.1 Gurmukhi Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, West Bengal
Sanskrit 0.02 Devanagari Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand
Santali 7.6 2003 Ol Chiki Austroasiatic Jharkhand, West Bengal
Sindhi 2.7 1967 Devanagari Indo-Aryan
Tamil 69 1950 Tamil Dravidian Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
Telugu 81.1 Telugu Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Telangana, West Bengal
Urdu 50.7 Perso-Arabic Indo-Aryan Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal

Demands for expansion[edit]

In 2003, a committee was established by Government of India, to study the possible inclusion of more languages to the schedule. As per the Ministry of Home Affairs, there are demands for inclusion of 38 more languages in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. These are:[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Constitution of India, Eighth schedule" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  2. ^ Official Languages Act (PDF). Parliament of India. 1963. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  3. ^ Official Languages Resolution. Parliament of India. 1968. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  4. ^ "The Constitution of India" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  5. ^ a b c "Eighth Schedule" (PDF). Government of India. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  6. ^ "The Constitution (Ninety-Sixth Amendment) Act, 2011". eGazette of India. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  7. ^ Abstract of Speakers' Strength of Languages and Mother Tongues – 2011 (PDF) (Report). Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Indian languages". Ethnologue. Retrieved 1 December 2023.
  9. ^ Report of the Commissioner for linguistic minorities: 50th report (July 2012 to June 2013) (PDF) (Report). Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2016. Retrieved 14 January 2015.