News-CRUX-10     25th July 2023        
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Context: The Supreme Court said it cannot direct the Centre to include Rajasthani as an official language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

  • The court referred to a 1997 reported decision of the Supreme Court in the Kanhaiya Lal Sethia case to note that “to include or not to include a particular language in the VIIIth Schedule is a policy matter of the Union. 
  • The Bench noted that the court need not oblige a petitioner merely because the latter thinks the cause he or she represents is a genuine one.

Criteria to include Eighth Schedule

  • There is no fixed criteria for any language to be considered for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule.
  • The problem is that as the evolution of dialects and languages is dynamic, influenced by socio-eco-political developments, it is difficult to fix any criterion for languages, whether to distinguish them from dialects.
  • Both attempts through the Pahwa (1996) and Sitakant Mohapatra (2003) Committees to decide the criteria yielded no result.  

Official languages 

  • The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India lists the official languages of the Republic of India.
  • Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deals with the official languages in Articles 343 to 351.
  • The Constitutional provisions relating to the Eighth Schedule occur in articles 344(1) and 351 of the Constitution.
  • The eighth schedule includes the recognition of the 22 languages.
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