Parliament passes J&K Official Languages Bill, 5 languages now ‘official’ in the UT

New Delhi (NVI): Parliament today passed a Bill for inclusion of Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi in the list of official languages in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to the existing Urdu and English.

The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020 was passed by Rajya Sabha through voice vote. Lok Sabha had cleared the legislation on Tuesday.

Replying to a debate on the Bill, Minister of State (MoS) for Home G Kishan Reddy said it was a long-standing demand of the people of Jammu and Kashmir that the language they speak should be included in the list of official languages.

The minister pointed out that around 74 per cent people in the Union Territory spoke Kashmiri and Dogri languages.

As per the Census, only 0.16 per cent population in Jammu and Kashmir spoke Urdu, while 2.3 per cent of the population speaks Hindi in the UT, the MoS said.

Along with this, the Bill will also strengthen the existing institutional structure for the promotion and development of regional languages.