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Language being the most important medium of communication and education, its development occupies an important place in the National Policy on Education and Programme of Action. Therefore, promotion and development of Hindi and other 21 languages listed in the schedule VIII of the Constitution including Sanskrit and Urdu has received due attention. In fulfilling the constitutional responsibility, the Department of Higher Education is assisted by autonomous organization and subordinate offices.

Language Policy

The Language Policy of India relating to the use of languages in administration, education, judiciary, legislature, mass communication, etc., is pluralistic in its scope. It is both language-development oriented and language-survival oriented. The policy is intended to encourage the citizens to use their mother tongue in certain delineated levels and domains through some gradual processes, but the stated goal of the policy is to help all languages to develop into fit vehicles of communication at their designated areas of use, irrespective of their nature or status like major, minor, or tribal languages. The policy can accommodate and ever-evolving, through mutual adjustment, consensus, and judicial processes. Evolving and monitoring implementation of language policy is a major endeavor of the Language Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Government of India. This is done by the Bureau through language institutions setup for the purpose under its aegis: Central Hindi Directorate, Centre for Scientific and Technical Terminology, Central Hindi Institute, Central Institute of Indian Languages, National Council for Promotion of Sindhi Language, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan (RSKS), Maharishi Sandipani Rashtriya Vedavidya Pratishthan (MSRVVP), Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages.:

Language in india

Modern India, as per the 1961 Census, has more than 1652 mother tongues, genetically belonging to five different language families. The 1991 Census had 10,400 raw returns of mother tongues and they were rationalized into 1576 mother tongues. They are further rationalized into 216 mother tongues, and grouped under 114 languages: Austro-Asiatic (14 languages, with a total population of 1.13%), Dravidian (17 languages, with a total population of 22.53%), Indo-European (Indo-Aryan, 19 languages, with a total population of 75.28%, and Germanic, 1 language, with a total population of 0.02%), Semito-Harmitic (1 language, with a total population of 0.01%), and Tibeto-Burman (62 languages with a total population of 0.97%). It may be noted that mother tongues having a population of less than 10000 on all India basis or not possible to identify on the basis of available linguistic information have gone under 'others'.

Family-Wise Grouping Of The 122 Scheduled and Non-Scheduled Languages - 2001

Language families Number of Languages Persons who returned the languages as their mother tongue Percentage to total population
1. Indo-European      
(a) Indo-Aryan 21 790,627,060 76.87
(b) Iranian 2 22,774 00.00
(c) Germanic 1 226,449 00.02
2. Dravidian 17 214,172,874 20.82
3. Austro-Asiatic 14 11,442,029 01.11
4. Tibeto-Burmese 66 10,305,026 01.00
5. Semito-Hamitic 1 51,728 00.01
Total 122 1,026,847,940* 99.83*

* Out of the total population of 1,028,610,328 for India, the balance of 1,762,388 (0.17%) Speakers are "Total of Other languages" other than Scheduled and Non Scheduled languages. The total population excludes the figures of Paomata, Mao Maram and Purul Subdivision of Senapti district of Manipur. The names of the 122 Scheduled and Non-Scheduled languages falling in the above five language families are given below with the Scheduled Languages denoted as (S). Of the 22 Scheduled Languages, 15 fall in the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family, 1 in Austro-Asiatic family, 4 in the Dravidian family and 2 in the Tibeto-Burmese family.



1. Assamese (S), 2. Bengali(S), 3. Bhili/Bhilodi, 4. Bishnupuriya, 5. Dogri (S) 6. Gujarati(S), 7. Halabi, 8. Hindi(S), 9. Kashmiri(S), 10. Khandeshi,11. Konkani(S), 12.Lahnda. 13. Maithili(S), 14. Marathi(S), 15. Nepali(S), 16. Oriya(S), 17. Punjabi(S), 18. Sanskrit(S), 19. Shina, 20. Sindhi(S), 21. Urdu(S).


1. Afghani/Kabuli/Pashto 2. Persian


1. English.


1. Coorgi/Kodagu, 2. Gondi, 3. Jatapu, 4. Kannada(S), 5. Khond/Kondh, 6. Kisan, 7. Kolami, 8. Konda, 9.Koya, 10. Kui, 11. Kurukh/Oraon, 12. Malayalam(S), 13. Malto, 14. Parji, 15 Tamil(S), 16. Telugu(S), 17.Tulu.


1. Bhumij, 2. Gadaba, 3. Ho, 4. Juang, 5. Kharia, 6. Khasi, 7. Koda/Kora, 8. Korku, 9. Korwa, 10. Munda, 11.Mundari, 12. Nicobarese, 13. Santali(S) 14.Savara.


1. Adi, 2. Anal, 3. Angami, 4. Ao, 5. Balti, 6. Bhotia, 7. Bodo (S), 8. Chakesang, 9. Chakru/Chokri, 10. Chang, 11. Deori, 12. Dimasa, 13. Gangte, 14. Garo,15. Halam, 16. Hmar, 17. Kabui, 18. Karbi/Mikir, 19. Khezha, 20. Khiemnungan, 21.Kinnauri, 22. Koch, 23. Kom, 24. Konyak, 25. Kuki, 26. Ladakhi, 27. Lahauli, 28. Lakher, 29. Lalung, 30. Lepcha, 31. Liangmei, 32. Limbu, 33.Lotha, 34. Lushai/Mizo, 35. Manipuri(S), 36. Maram, 37. Maring, 38. Miri/Mishing, 39. Mishmi, 40. Mogh, 41. Monpa, 42. Nissi/Dafla, 43. Nocte, 44. Paite, 45. Pawi, 46. Phom, 47. Pochury, 48. Rabha, 49. Rai 50.Rengma, 51. Sangtam, 52. Sema, 53. Sherpa, 54. Simte, 55. Tamang 56. Tangkhul, 57. Tangsa, 58. Thado, 59. Tibetan, 60. Tripuri, 61. Vaiphei, 62. Wancho, 63. Yimchungre, 64. Zeliang, 65. Zemi, 66. Zou.


1. Arabic/Arbi The Indo-Aryan languages are spoken by the maximum number of speakers, followed in the descending order by the Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, and Sino-Tibetan (Tibeto-Burman) languages.

Twenty two Indian languages:

Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu are included in the Eighth Schedule. Among these two languages - Sanskrit and Tamil are assigned the status of Classical languages. Indian multilingualism is unique in many respects - it has naturally evolved and is coupled with the multilingualism evolving through schooling.