Updated: August 9, 2016 5:24:09 am
ALL GOODS and products sold in the country, irrespective of where they have been manufactured, may soon have labels and instructions in Hindi and another regional language.
This recommendation is part of the report finalised by the 17-member committee led by former JNU pro vice-chancellor Kapil Kapoor.
The panel was tasked by the HRD ministry to suggest ways to promote Indian languages.
According to committee members, who spoke to The Indian Express on condition of anonymity, the report highlights the importance of supporting Indian languages in commerce and trade and proposes that all products should carry labels, instructions and any other relevant information in Hindi, the language of the state it’s being sold in and, optionally, in English.
If accepted by the government, this recommendation would apply to brochures and operating manuals of all consumer goods including medicines and electronic equipment such as mobile phones and laptops. Currently, most products sold in India carry labels and instructions only in English.
Kapoor did not wish to comment on the report until it is formally submitted to the ministry.
Justifying the proposal, a panel member said such a step would create employment opportunity for translators. “Let’s not forget that most of the trade in our country takes place in our languages. It’s mainly the world of brands that we have to focus on. Many countries in the world do this. Take Japan, for instance. The packaging, labels, brochures of all their products are in their own language,” said the member.
The committee is also learnt to have recommended a three-language policy for Centre-State communication.
It has proposed that all correspondence between the union and state governments should be in Hindi, the state’s language and, optionally, in English. Currently, letters from the Centre to non-Hindi speaking states are in English. In the case of Hindi-speaking states, the communication from the Centre is in Hindi. If any letter is sent in English, there has to be a Hindi translation.
The committee was set up by the HRD ministry on December 22, 2014. Its broader brief included reviewing the three-language formula, advice on use of international languages, examining the efficacy of the government’s current initiatives for promotion of various languages including tribal languages, suggesting ways for preservation and restoration of extinct and near-extinct languages and drawing a roadmap for protecting and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity.
Former Delhi University professor and all-India president of Sanskrit Bharati Chand Kiran Saluja, IIT-BHU director Rajeev Sangal, IIM Bangalore professor B Mahadevan, director of the Vivekanand Kendra Institute of Culture, Guwahati, Deepak Kumar Barthakur and Tamil scholar D Gnanasundaram are among the panel members.
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