THE NDA government may have said the circular asking government officials to use Hindi on social media is only a reiteration of the previous UPA government’s order, but a fresh circular issued by the official languages department of the Ministry of Home Affairs asks officers and government employees to put their comments on files in Hindi.
Citing Section (3) of the Official Languages Act, 1963, the ministry also said all government files would have to be issued bilingually — in Hindi and English.
The order dated June 10 said: “Government departments should issue a notification to do their entire work in Hindi, make file notings in Hindi. Reply to letters written in Hindi should only be done in Hindi. All the code and manuals to be turned bilingual. Government websites to be run both in Hindi and English.”
Earlier, after the May 27 circular, which was a reiteration of the March 10 order passed during the UPA regime, became public, several political parties, including the Congress, CPM, AIADMK, DMK, MDMK and National Conference, had slammed the government.
MHA officials said the existing ‘Kendriya Hindi Samiti’ headed by the PM had not met for the past three years, adding that the 41-member committee comprising linguist experts of Hindi and representatives from all states was being reconstituted and PM Narendra Modi would be requested to convene the first meeting.
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Talking about the fresh circular, an MHA official explained the order was meant only for Central government offices and was in no way binding on any other state.
“We can only request and encourage ministries to promote Hindi in their official communication… We cannot take any penal action against anybody for not using the language,” said the official.