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Govt to promote all 22 official Indian languages abroad

The ministry of external affairs is working on a plan to set up an ‘India Corner’ in select university libraries across the world to stock up books in Indian languages.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2018 23:21 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The NDA government has drawn up plans to promote all 22 official languages of the country abroad as it continues to work for popularising Hindi in foreign countries, officials familiar with the developments said.

The ministry of external affairs is working on a plan to set up an ‘India Corner’ in select university libraries across the world to stock up books in Indian languages and is also considering the opening more chairs for regional languages abroad.

The ministry reasons that the many of the Indian languages have a rich history and scholars as well as diaspora have huge interest in them.

“The ‘India Corner’ will stock books promoting various aspects of India in 22 officially recognised languages of India such as its history and literature. These languages include Hindi as well as English. We want to ensure that the Indian languages are not left out,” an official said.

The ministry is also discussing the issue with the diplomatic missions to implement the plan.

“We will go by the interest in each country for the languages and we will devise the plans accordingly”, said the official.

Libraries at the top universities in most countries will have the India Corner.

The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the cultural arm of the ministry, will oversee the plans for setting up more chairs in regional languages. Recently, it had instituted a Tamil chair at the University of Warsaw.

“The University Of Warsaw, Poland, had a Hindi chair. Now it has a long-term Tamil chair, too,” remarked another official.

He added that the plans are based on the assessments made by the mission about the “importance and relevance of such moves.” The government has been pushing for a Public-private partnership (PPP) model for establishing language chairs aboard.

Another measure that has been planned is to get reciprocal hospitality from organisations that would be willing to host delegations from India, including literary groups.

A more flexible approach in setting up an India study centre is also being explored. This is aimed at finding alternatives to the endowment model, which requires a lot of money.

The ICCR promotes teaching of Indian languages in foreign countries by supporting Chairs of Indian studies.

They are established on the basis of recommendation of Indian missions abroad.

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Rajya Sabha MP from Maharashtra and president of ICCR, was not available for immediate comment as he was travelling abroad.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 23:21 IST