[lg policy] India: All products must have labels in Hindi, regional language

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Aug 9 11:12:02 EDT 2016

All products must have labels in Hindi, regional language, says committee
set up by HRD Ministry in 2014 The panel was tasked by the HRD ministry to
suggest ways to promote Indian languages.
Written by Ritika Chopra
<http://indianexpress.com/profile/author/ritika-chopra/> | New Delhi | Updated:
August 9, 2016 5:24 am
[image: hrd ministry, prakash javadekar, hindi label on products, hindi
tags on goods, regional language, promote indian languages, indian express
news, india news] The committee is also learnt to have recommended a
three-language policy for Centre-State communication.

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

According to committee members, who spoke to The Indian Express
<http://indianexpress.com/> 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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