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Translation of India’s Constitution into Ol Chiki Script

  • 21 Mar 2022
  • 5 min read

Why in News?

India’s Constitution has been translated into Ol Chiki script for the first time.

  • The Ol Chiki script, also known as Ol Chemetʼ, Ol Ciki, Ol, and sometimes as the Santali alphabet, is the official writing system for Santhali, an Austroasiatic language recognized as an official regional language in India.

What is the Significance of Recognition?

  • The Constitution of India has special provisions for the development of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and the translation has been useful in providing a deeper understanding of laws, powers and the community’s fundamental rights for readers like Hembram. (Hembram is a surname which is commonly used among the Santhal tribals).
  • Adivasi scholars often point to Article 21 under Schedules V and VI of the Constitution that set out the rights of tribal peoples to development in ways that affirm their autonomy and dignity, and are considered by many to be the foundation of Adivasi rights.
    • 5th Schedule: It deals with the administration and control of Scheduled Areas as well as of Scheduled Tribes residing in any State other than the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
    • 6th Schedule: It provides for the administration of tribal areas in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram to safeguard the rights of the tribal population in these states. This special provision is provided under Article 244(2) and Article 275(1) of the Constitution.

When was the Santali Language added to the Constitution of India?

  • In 2003, the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act added Santhali to Schedule VIII to the Constitution of India, which lists the official languages of India, along with the Bodo, Dogri and Maithili languages.
  • This addition meant that the Indian government was obligated to undertake the development of the Santali language and to allow students appearing for school-level examinations and entrance examinations for public service jobs to use the language.

What about the Population of Santhal People?

  • According to the 2011 Census of India, there are over 70 lakh people who speak Santali across the country.
  • But their geographic distribution is not limited to India — the community is also spread across Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • Santhals are the largest scheduled tribe in the Jharkhand state of India in terms of population and are also found in the states of Assam, Tripura, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal.

What is the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution?

  • About:
    • It 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 related to the Eighth Schedule are:
      • Article 344: Article 344(1) provides for the constitution of a Commission by the President on expiration of five years from the commencement of the Constitution.
      • Article 351: It provides for the spread of the Hindi language to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India.
    • However, It can be noted that there is no fixed criteria for any language to be considered for inclusion in the Eighth Schedule.
  • Official Languages:
    • The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution consists of the following 22 languages:
      • Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi,Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri.
    • Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution.
    • Sindhi language was added by the 21st Amendment Act of 1967.
    • Konkani, Manipuri, and Nepali were included by the 71st Amendment Act of 1992.
    • Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali were added by the 92nd Amendment Act of 2003 which came into force in 2004.


Under which one of the following Constitution Amendment Acts, four languages were added to the languages under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, thereby raising their number to 22? (2008)

(a) Constitution (Ninetieth Amendment) Act

(b) Constitution (Ninety-first Amendment) Act

(c) Constitution (Ninety-second Amendment) Act

(d) Constitution (Ninety-third Amendment) Act

Ans: (c)

Source: IE

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