8th Schedule of Indian Constitution - 22 Official Languages of India

By K Balaji|Updated : November 11th, 2022

The 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution is responsible for listing the authorized Indian languages of the Republic. The part of the constitution that deals with the official speeches in India are XVII, included in Articles 343 to 351. No specific benchmark is considered for incorporating any Indian language in the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution. The Indian Government has committed to uplifting these fundamental Indian languages so that they evolve as an effective medium of communication for modern learning.

The 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution comprises 22 languages. Initially, during the time of framing the Indian Constitution, there were 14 languages included in the 8th Schedule. Several amendments introduced languages like Sindhi, Konkani, Manipuri, Nepali, Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali. This article demonstrates important points regarding the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution, the languages included in the Schedule, and the articles pertaining to the amendment.

Table of Content

What is the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution?

The Union Minister of Education recently discussed the measures to stimulate the official languages included in the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution undertaken by the Indian Government. The 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution constitutes the following 22 languages:

Official Languages According to Schedule 8 of Indian Constitution

Assamese

Manipuri

Bengali

Marathi

Bodo

Nepali

Dogri

Odia

Gujarati

Punjabi

Hindi

Sanskrit

Kannada

Santhali

Kashmiri

Sindhi

Konkani

Tamil

Maithili

Telugu

Malayalam

Urdu

22 Official Languages of India with their States

Previously, there were 14 official Indian languages in the 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution. Now, the total languages in the schedule 8 of Indian Constitution have been increased to 22. The list of languages is given below.

22 Official Language of India with States

Year of Recognition

Total Official Language of India

Popular in Indian State

1,950

Assamese

Assam

1,950

Bengali

West Bengal

1,950

Gujarati

Gujarat

1,950

Hindi

North India

1,950

Kashmiri

Jammu & Kashmir

1,950

Kannada

Karnataka

1,950

Malayalam

Kerala

1,950

Marathi

Maharashtra

1,950

Odia

Odisha

1,950

Punjabi

Punjab

1,950

Sanskrit

Karnataka (Shivamogga District)

1,950

Tamil

Tamil Nadu

1,950

Telugu

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana

1,950

Urdu

Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh

1,967

Sindhi

Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh

1,992

Konkani

Goa

1,992

Manipuri

Manipur

1,992

Nepali

Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh

2,004

Bodo

Assam and Meghalaya

2,004

Dogri

Jammu and Himachal Pradesh

2,004

Maithili

Bihar and Jharkhand

2,004

Santhali

West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha

Chronology of Languages Under 8th Schedule

Below are the official Indian languages counted later after many amendments and modifications. The latest revision was done in 2003 and the earliest was performed in 1967.

Schedule language

Amendment in Indian Constitution

Bodo, Dogri, Santhali, and Maithili

92nd Amendment Act of 2003

Konkani, Nepali, and Manipuri

71st Amendment Act of 1992.

Sindhi

21st Amendment Act of 1967.

Aim of 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution

The main objective of the Eighth Schedule is to sustain the nation’s diversity. Making any state language official enables them to make progress and embrace diversification. Therefore, India does not have a national language. The primary goals of the Schedule 8 are as follows:

  • Allow entry of native individuals to the Government in their indigenous language.
  • Provide similar expression to the muti-ethical or multi-racial polity.
  • Fosters trading business more efficiently through standard language backgrounds of the area.
  • Offers secure scope to the diversity and varied languages in the country.

Classical Languages in Schedule 8th of Indian Constitution

Six languages have earned the title of Classical languages of India. All classical Indian languages are included in the 8th Schedule of Indian constitution. Tamil was the first language to receive the classical language status in 2004, while Odia was the last one to receive the status in 2014. The languages that enjoy this status are:

Languages

Declared as Classical languages in

Tamil

2004

Sanskrit

2005

Kannada

2008

Telugu

2008

Malayalam

2013

Odia

2014

The languages regarded as Classical languages qualify some criteria listed by the Ministry of Culture; these include:

  • The tradition of its publications is authentic and not taken from another speech community.
  • High antiquity of its ancient texts or documented chronology over 1500-2000 years.
  • It must have antique literature or text assumed a valuable origin by the orators.

Advantages of Classical Language Promotion

The Human Resource and Development Ministry has the authority to declare a language as a classical language and offers certain benefits to boost it. The advantages are:

  • Establishment of a centre of merit for studies in Classical languages.
  • Provides two global awards to intellectuals achieving distinction in these languages.
  • Requests UGC or University Grants Commission to assemble a minimum number of faculties for teaching classical languages in the central institutes.

Articles Corresponding to 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution

There are an overall 12 Schedules in the Indian Constitution, and the Constitutional provisions relating to the eighth Schedule of Indian constitution are in articles 344(1) and 351.

  • Article 344: Article 344(1) offers a constitution by the President for the Commission as soon as it expires after 5 years from the commencement date.
  • Article 351: This article of the Indian Constitution encourages the Hindi language to be the medium of expression for all mixed Indian cultures.

8th Schedule of Indian Constitution UPSC

Schedule 8 of the Indian constitution is a vital topic for aspirants to learn for IAS Exam. This section is crucial from the UPSC Polity syllabus. Students can make short notes and highlight the main points from the notes that can be revised when the examination is nearest.

8th Schedule of Indian Constitution UPSC PDF

Aspirants can also practice the previous year's question papers after they become thorough with the topic. Candidates can also view the Polity Books for UPSC to know the most recommended textbooks by experts and professors they can explore while preparing for the vast syllabus of UPSC.

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FAQs on 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution

  • The 8th Schedule of Indian Constitution primarily deals with the languages officially acquired in the Indian states. Currently, 22 official Indian languages have been included in the Constitution of India.

  • Six languages have earned the title of Classical languages of India. All classical Indian languages are included in the 8th Schedule of Indian constitution. These are:

    • Tamil
    • Sanskrit
    • Kannada
    • Telugu
    • Malayalam
    • Odia.
  • Part A of the Indian Constitution includes 22 languages specified in the Eighth Schedule, and languages not specified under the Eighth Schedule (A total of 99) are present in Part B. The languages officially recognized by the Indian constitution include:

    • 270 mother tongues languages
    • 121 languages.
  • English is not included in Schedule 8 of Indian constitution and majorly lists only the official Indian languages of the Republic of India. When the Indian constitution was drafted, only 14 languages were recognized and mentioned in the 8th Schedule. The rest languages got included through several modifications, but English was missing from the list.

  • There is no fixed national language of India according to the Indian Constitution. When drafting the constitution of India, the makers needed clarification about selecting a particular language for the whole country because more than 1,600 languages were spoken in different states of India.

  • No specific benchmark is considered for incorporating any Indian language in the 8th Schedule. The languages that were added later through amendments under schedule 8 of Indian constitution were:

    • Sindhi language - 1967.
    • Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali - 1992.
    • Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali - 2003.

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