National Language of India: List of 22 National Languages of India

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

National Language of India: India is a democratic country that boasts a rich tapestry of ethnic cultures, traditions, and languages. The linguistic diversity in India is evident as one travels across the country, with different groups of people speaking different languages. The majority of languages spoken in India are from the Indo-Aryan and Dravidian families, however, some Indo-European languages are also spoken and understood.

The Indo-Aryan languages include Hindi, Rajasthani, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Oriya, Assamese, Sanskrit, Kashmiri, Sindhi, and Punjabi, are spoken by around three-fourths of India’s people. Southern Indian languages such as Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam are members of the Dravidian family. On the other hand, English is the most commonly spoken Indo-European language. Read further to have a thorough understanding of the National Language of India and 22 official languages of India.

National Language of India

India, a diverse country with a rich cultural heritage and a multitude of languages, does not have any specific national language designated in its constitution. However, Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, is recognized as the official language of the central government of India and is often referred to as the official language of the country. It is also one of the 22 official languages of India.

Hindi, as the official language, is used extensively in various official communication, documentation, and legal matters at the national level. It is also one of the two languages used in the proceedings of the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the Indian Parliament), along with English.

Apart from Hindi, English also holds a significant position in India, serving as a subsidiary official language. It is widely used in government offices, legal matters, and educational institutions, and as a medium of communication in many professional settings.

National Language of India in Constitution

According to the Constitution, India does not have a national language, although Hindi and English are the official languages. According to Article 343 of the Indian Constitution:

(1) Hindi written in Devanagari script shall be the official language of the Union of India.

(2) Notwithstanding anything in section (1), the English language will continue to be used for all official purposes of the Union of India for a period of fifteen years from the date of commencement of this Constitution:

During the aforementioned term, the President may, by order, authorize the use of the Hindi language in addition to the English language and the Devanagari form of numerals in addition to the international form of Indian numerals for any of the Union’s official purposes.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in this article, Parliament may, by legislation, allow for the use of (a) the English language or (b) the Devanagari form of numerals after the said term of fifteen years, for such purposes as the law may specify.

The Official Languages Act of 1963 provided for the continued use of English alongside Hindi in the Indian government indefinitely until legislation to alter it was approved.

Official Language of India

In 1950, the Indian Constitution designated Hindi in Devanagari Script as the official language of the union. The Indian Constitution provided that English would continue to be used for all official purposes of the Union until January 25, 1965, however, a complete switch to Hindi was not possible within the time frame specified. As a result, English, along with Hindi, is still utilized for all official purposes as an associate official language.

Official Language Act, 1963

It is an Act to provide for the languages that may be used for official purposes of the Union of India, for Parliamentary business, for Central and State Acts, and for a specific purpose in High Courts.

Also Read:

22 Official Languages of India

India is a linguistically diverse country with a vast number of regional languages spoken across different states and regions. Each state in India has the autonomy to choose its own official language(s) for communication within the state, based on the linguistic preferences and demographics of the region.

As per the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, a total of 22 languages have been enlisted as the scheduled languages of India.

List of Scheduled Languages of India

  1. Assamese
  2. Bengali
  3. Bodo
  4. Dogri
  5. Gujarath
  6. Hindi
  7. Kannada
  8. Kashmiri
  9. Konkani
  10. Maithili
  11. Punjabi
  12. Sanskrit
  13. Santhali
  14. Sindhi
  15. Tamil
  16. Telugu
  17. Urdu
  18. Malayalam
  19. Manipuri
  20. Marathi
  21. Nepali
  22. Oriya

Language of Judiciary

According to the Constitution, the Supreme Court of India’s sessions must be conducted in English.

Classical Languages

Tamil (2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada and Telugu are the languages that have been deemed classical based on the advice of a committee of linguistic specialists appointed by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India (2008).

Check Out: List of Folk Dances in India

Difference between the National and Official Language of India

The main distinction between a country’s national language and its official language is that the former is associated with the country’s sociopolitical and cultural functions, whereas the latter is associated with government affairs such as the operation of the parliament or the national court. Official and national languages play an important role in representing a country’s identity. Both languages’ primary duty is to represent the nation.

List of Official Scheduled Languages of India State-wise

The official scheduled languages of India vary from state to state. As per the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, each state has designated one or more languages as its official scheduled languages. These languages hold official status in their respective states and are used for communication in government offices, judiciary, and other official purposes. Tabulated below are the 28 States of India and their languages


Official Languages of India


Andhra Pradesh


Telugu, Urdu, Hindi, Tamil and Marathi

Arunachal Pradesh


Nishi, Adi, Bengali, Nepali and Hindi



Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, Nepali



Hindi (Bhojpuri and Magadhi dialects), Maithili, Urdu, Bengali and Santali



Hindi (Chhattisgarhi), Odia, Bengali, Telugu and Marathi



Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, Kannada and Urdu



Gujarati, Hindi, Sindhi, Marathi, and Urdu



Hindi (Haryanvi and Mewati dialects), Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, and Maithili

Himachal Pradesh


Hindi, Punjabi, Nepali, Kashmiri, and Dogri



Hindi (Bhojpuri, Magadhi, and Nagpuri dialects), Santhali, Bengali, Urdu and Odia



Kannada, Urdu, Telugu, Tamil, and Marathi



Malayalam, Tamil, Tulu, Kannada and Konkani




Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Sindhi, and Gujarati





Meitei (Manipuri)

Manipuri, Nepali, Hindi, and Bengali



Khasi, Garo, Bengali Nepali and Hindi


Mizo, English & Hindi

Mizo, English, Hindi, Manipuri, and Chakma



Ao, Konyak, Angami, Sema and Lotha



Odia, Bengali, Telugu Hindi and Santali



Punjabi and Hindi



Rajasthani and Hindi



Bhutia, Hindi, Nepali, Lepcha, Limbu

Tamil Nadu


Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu, and Malayalam



Telugu, Urdu, Marathi Kannada and Hindi


Bengali, English & Kokborok

Bengali, Tripuri, Manipuri, Kakborak

Uttar Pradesh


Hindi (including Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Braj Bhasha and Khari Boli dialects)



Hindi (including the Garhwali, Kumaoni, and Jaunsari dialects)

West Bengal



List of Union Territories and their Official Languages

India has a total of 8 Union Territories, each with its distinct linguistic diversity. The official languages of these Union Territories are varied, reflecting the unique cultural heritage and linguistic traditions of these regions. Tabulated below are the official languages of India.

Union Territories Official Languages of India
Andaman and Nicobar Islands Hindi, English
Chandigarh English
Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu Gujarati, Konkani, Marathi, Hindi
Delhi Hindi, English
Lakshadweep Malayalam
Jammu and Kashmir Kashmiri, Dogri, Hindi, Urdu, English
Ladakh Hindi, English
Puducherry Tamil, French, English


National Language of India: List of 22 National Languages of India

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