Published: 24th March 2021
Is the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science asking researchers to interact mostly in Hindi?
The circular said that the DST has sent a letter stating that the institute has not been achieving its official language targets and a team will soon visit the campus to inspect
The Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata, one of the oldest research institutes in the country, is in the news — no, not for scientific achievements, but for trying to conduct their official correspondence majorly in Hindi.
The institute, in an order dated March 19, had said that they have not achieved the "official language targets" and advised the staff to ensure that "55 per cent of the total correspondence should be made in Hindi". While this caused an uproar on social media, the institute came up with another order on March 23 which superseded the previous order and just asked the staff to make note of the fact that the DST (Department of Science and Technology) has sent a letter about inadequate use of all official languages and that they can "approach the part-time Hindi officer of the institute for any help and assistance if needed".
The March 19 circular — No.1.2/Admin/Rajbhasha/267 — said that the DST has sent a letter stating that the institute has not been achieving its official language targets and a team will soon visit the campus to inspect. "It is to be noted that after reviewing the official language activities in the institute, it has been observed that the institute is not yielding the desired results in achieving the official language targets as given by the Government of India, ministry of home affairs, department of official language. We have received an adverse letter issued by DST. This is a very worrying situation. DST officials are visiting soon to inspect our institute in respect of the implementation of official languages," read the circular from Acting Registrar Purbasha Banerjee. “It is also for your kind information that a Hindi officer has already been appointed in the institute. He may be contacted for any help regarding the implementation of the official language Hindi,” added the circular.
The first circular had set a few goals for the staff to follow. The majority — 55 per cent — of the total correspondence should be in Hindi, said the circular and added, "Letters received in Hindi must be answered in Hindi. Thirty-three per cent of file notings must be made in Hindi. The names of the files should be bilingual (Hindi and English). They should be written in Hindi first and then in English. The entries in the service books should be made in Hindi as far as possible. During official work, signatures on the files may be written in Hindi, as and when required."
It also said that there should be 100 per cent compliance with Section 3(3) of the Official Language Act 1963. The act says that both Hindi and the English languages shall be used for "resolutions, general orders, rules, notifications, administrative or other reports or press communique issued or made by the Central Government or by a Ministry, Department or office or by a corporation or company-owned or controlled by the Central Government or by any office of such corporation or company". It also states that both languages have to be used for administrative and other reports and official papers laid before the Parliament along with contracts and agreements executed, and licences, permits, notices and forms of tender.
The new notice, which superseded the March 19 circular, said that it was only due to the DST letter that the earlier notice was issued. "DST conveyed inadequacy in implementing official language at IACS. Individuals are requested to make a note of the same and approach the part-time Hindi officer of the institute for any help and assistance if needed," said the circular issued on March 23.