The Debate On The National Language


Remarks by a Hindi actor to the effect that Hindi is the national language of India sparked a controversy recently over the status of the language under the Constitution.


GS III- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What is the status of Hindi?
  2. What is the Eighth Schedule?
  3. What is the three-language formula?

What is the status of Hindi?

  • Under Article 343 of the Constitution, the official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script.
  • The international form of Indian numerals will be used for official purposes.
  • The Constituent Assembly was bitterly divided on the question, with members from States that did not speak Hindi initially opposing the declaration of Hindi as a national language.
    • Proponents of Hindi were insistent that English was the language of enslavement and that it should be eliminated as early as possible.
    • Opponents were against English being done away with, fearing that it may lead to Hindi domination in regions that did not speak the language.
  • There were demands to make Sanskrit the official language, while some argued in favour of ‘Hindustani’. There were differences of opinion over the script too.
  • When opinion veered towards accepting Hindi, proponents of the language wanted the ‘Devanagari’ script to be adopted both for words and numerals.
  • Some advocated that the Roman script be adopted, as it would facilitate faster learning of Hindi. The predominant opinion was in favour of adopting ‘international numerals’ (the Arabic form used and understood throughout the world) instead of Hindi numerals.
  • Ultimately, it was decided that the Constitution will only speak of an ‘official language’.
  • And that English would continue to be used for a period of 15 years.
  • The Constitution said that after 15 years, Parliament may by law decide on the use of English and the use of the Devanagari form of numbers for specified purposes.

What is the Eighth Schedule?

  • The Eighth Schedule contains a list of languages in the country.
  •  Initially, there were 14 languages in the schedule, but now there are 22 languages.
  • There is no description of the sort of languages that are included or will be included in the Eighth Schedule.
  • There are only two references to these languages in the text of the Constitution.
    • Article 344(1): which provides for the formation of a Commission by the President, which should have a Chairman and members representing these scheduled languages. The purpose of the Commission is to make recommendations for the progressive use of Hindi for official purposes of the Union and for restricting the use of English.
    • Article 351:  it is the Union government’s duty to promote the spread of Hindi so that it becomes “a medium of expression for all elements of the composite culture of India” and also to assimilate elements of forms and expressions from Hindustani and languages listed in the Eighth Schedule.

What were the 1965 protests about?

  • The Official Languages Act, 1963 was passed in anticipation of the expiry of the 15-year period during which the Constitution originally allowed the use of English for official purposes.
  • Its operative section provided for the continuing use of English, notwithstanding the expiry of the 15-year period.
    • This came into force from Jan 26, 1965, a date which marked the completion of 15 years since the Constitution was adopted.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru had given an assurance in 1959 that English would remain in official use and as the language of communication between the Centre and the States.
  • The Official Languages Act, 1963, did not explicitly incorporate this assurance, causing apprehensions in some States as the January 1965 deadline neared.
    • At that time, Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri reiterated the government’s commitment to move towards making Hindi the official language for all purposes.

Protest in Tamil Nadu

  • In Tamil Nadu the prospect of the use of Hindi as the medium of examination for recruitment to the Union public services created an apprehension that Hindi would be imposed in such a way that the future employment prospects of those who do not speak Hindi will be bleak.
  • With the Congress government in the State taking the view that the people had nothing to fear about, protests broke out in January 1965.
  • It took a violent turn after more and more student activists joined the protest, and continued even after key Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leaders were arrested.
  • More than 60 people died in police firing and other incidents as the protests went on for days.
  • The agitation died down later, but by then the Congress at the Centre realised the sensitivity of the language issue among Tamil-speaking people.
  • When the Official Language Rules were framed in 1976, it was made clear that the Rules apply to the whole of India, except Tamil Nadu.

What is the three-language formula?

  • Since the 1960s, the Centre’s education policy documents speak of teaching three languages — Hindi, English and one regional language in Hindi-speaking States, and Hindi, English and the official regional language in other States.
  • In practice, however, only some States teach both their predominant language and Hindi, besides English.
  • In States where Hindi is the official language, a third language is rarely taught as a compulsory subject.
  • Tamil Nadu has been steadfastly opposing the three-language formula and sticks to teaching Tamil and English.
    • It argues that those who need to know Hindi can learn on their own.

Embroiling Transnistria in the Russia-Ukraine War


As the Russia-Ukraine War completes over two months, Transnistria, the tiny breakaway region of Moldova, risks being dragged into the conflict.


GS II- International relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Where is Transnistria?
  2. What is the political make-up of Transnistria?
  3. Why is it in the news now?
  4. What lies ahead?

Where is Transnistria?

  • The de facto state lies between Moldova to its west and Ukraine towards its east.
  •  Often described as a “remnant of the Soviet Union”, Transnistria declared independence like Moldova did soon after the break-up of the Soviet Union.
  • When Moldovan troops attempted to take over the territory in 1990-1992, Transnistria was able to resist them because of Russian soldiers based in Transnistria.
  • Since then, it has remained free of Moldovan control. However, most countries continue to see Transnistria as part of Moldova.

What is the political make-up of Transnistria?

  • Transnistria is not recognised as independent even by Russia and its economy is dependent on Russia for subsidies and free gas.
  • Most Transnistrians have dual citizenship of Russia and Transnistria or triple citizenship of Moldova, Transnistria, and Russia.
  • Unlike the rest of Moldova, which speaks Romanian, the majority of people in Transnistria speak Russian and use the cyrillic script like Russians.
  • It has its own government (which is pro-Russian), Parliament, armed force, constitution, flag, anthem, etc.
  • In a referendum held in 2006, over 97% of Transnistrians voted for future integration with Russia and after the annexation of Crimea, the government asked if it could to be absorbed into Russia.
  • Russia, however, was not keen on this. But Transnistria is host to over 1,500 Russian “peacekeepers” and is home to a large Russian ammunition depot at Cobasna.
Transnistria’s strategic location
  • It is important to the next phase of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
  • The region is not too distant from the Black Sea port of Odesa and also shares a relatively long border with Ukraine.
  •  If Transnistria comes under Russian control, it will enable Russia to create a Russian-controlled corridor along Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.
  • If Russia succeeds in linking Odesa with Transnistria, the rest of Ukraine would become completely landlocked and the country would naturally be weakened.
  •  Moldova, on its part, fears that Russia will use Transnistria to launch an attack on it as Russia has long wanted Moldova to be in its sphere of influence.

Why is it in the news now?

  • Transnistria risks being drawn into the Russia-Ukraine war because of reports of a series of explosions in its territory.
  • First, there was an attack by men using rocket propelled grenades on its security headquarters, followed by an attack on a radio centre which broadcasts Russian news.
  • There were also reports that a village which is host to one of the largest ammunition depots in Europe was hit by shots.
  • No one has taken responsibility for these attacks in which there were no deaths.
  • However, Ukrainian officials termed them as a deliberate provocation by Russia to intervene in Transnistria and Moldova while Russian officials blamed Ukraine for the attacks.

What lies ahead?

  • There is little Moldova, Europe’s poorest country, can do in this situation.
  • It is constitutionally neutral and has a very small military force.
  • It is not a member of NATO. So, there is little chance of NATO coming to its rescue, particularly since NATO cannot give membership to countries which have border disputes with other countries.
  • Similarly, it is not a member of the European Union though it is pro-Europe.
  • In March this year, Moldova had signed an official request to join the EU. However, this will take time and the country right now cannot comply with the EU’s conditions for membership.
  • Meanwhile, all eyes will be on what Russia intends to do next in Transnistria as part of its war with Ukraine, which has already dragged on longer than expected.

No One Can Be Forced To Get Vaccinated: SC


The Supreme Court has upheld the right of an individual against forcible vaccination and the government’s COVID-19 vaccination policy to protect communitarian health.


GS II- Government Policies and Interventions

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. Right not to get vaccinated
  3. About Vaccine Hesitancy


  • Vaccine hesitancy is on the rise these days.
  • Certain vaccine mandates imposed by state governments and union territory administrations were declared to be disproportionate by the Supreme Court.
  • They frequently deny unvaccinated people access to essential social benefits and freedom of mobility.

Right not to get vaccinated

  • The bench upheld the right to bodily integrity and personal autonomy of an individual in the light of vaccines and other public health measures.
  • Bodily integrity is protected under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution and no individual can be forced to be vaccinated.
  • The court struck a balance between individual right to bodily integrity and refuse treatment with the government’s concern for public health.
  • When the issue is extended to “communitarian health”, the government was indeed “entitled to regulate issues”.
    • But its right to regulate by imposing limits to individual rights was open to judicial scrutiny.

About Vaccine Hesitancy

  • Vaccine hesitancy, also known as anti-vaccination or anti-vax, is a reluctance or refusal to be vaccinated or to have one’s children vaccinated against contagious diseases.
  • It was identified by the World Health Organization as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019.
  • The term encompasses outright refusal to vaccinate, delaying vaccines, accepting vaccines but remaining uncertain about their use, or using certain vaccines but not others.
  • Arguments against vaccination are contradicted by overwhelming scientific consensus about the safety and efficacy of vaccines.
  • Hesitancy primarily results from public debates around the medical, ethical and legal issues related to vaccines.
  • Vaccine hesitancy often results in disease outbreaks and deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Vaccine hesitancy stems from multiple key factors

  • Person’s lack of confidence (mistrust of the vaccine and/or healthcare provider)
  • complacency (the person does not see a need for the vaccine or does not see the value of the vaccine)
  • convenience (access to vaccines).

Jute Industry


Member of Parliament (MP) from Barrackpore constituency in West Bengal met the Union Textile minister about issues concerning jute farmers, workers and the overall jute industry.


GS III- Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Jute “The Golden Fiber”
  2. About Jute Cultivation Overview
  3. Advantages of Jute
  4. Disadvantages of Jute
  5. Importance of Jute Industry

About Jute “The Golden Fiber”

  • Jute is a natural fiber with a golden, soft, long, and silky shine. It is the cheapest fiber procured from the skin of the plant’s stem.
  • Because of its colors and high cash value, Jute is known as a golden fiber. Hence, the Golden Fibre Revolution in India is related to jute production.
  • Natural fibers are the hair like raw materials directly obtained from vegetable, animal or mineral source.
  • Jute is the second in the worlds production of textile fibers after Cotton.
  • After cotton, jute is the most important vegetable fiber in consumption, production, usage, and availability. During the industrial revolution, jute started being used as a raw material in the fabric industry and until today, the processed jute is used for making strong threads and jute products.
  •  Jute is a natural vegetable fiber under the category of bast fibers like flax, hemp, kenaf and ramie.
  •  Since ancient times, it has been traditionally grown in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, which make up of the present day West Bengal of India and plains of Bangladesh.
  •  Bangladesh, India and China are the leading producers of Jute.
  • Jute is an annually renewable plant belonging to the genus Corchorus of the order Tiliacea.
  • The first jute mill in India was set up in the year 1855 at Rishra, near Kolkata.
  • To promote and popularize jute diversification work, National Jute Board, Ministry of Textiles, acts as the apex body for promotion of the products in India and abroad.

  About Jute Cultivation Overview;-

  • Land = Jute can grow in wide range of soil but fertile loamy alluvial soil is better suitable.
  • Soil pH = 6 -7.5 is ideal soil pH where jute is cultivated.
  • Climate = Relative humidity between 40-90% and temperature between 17° C and 41°C, along with well distributed rainfall over 1200 mm is ideal for cultivation and growth of jute.
  • Harvesting & Retting = Jute crop can be harvested between 100 – 120 days. After harvesting the jute bundles are kept in the field for 2 -3 days to allow leaf shedding. The bundles of jute stems after defoliation are placed in retting tank in ‘Jak’ and weighed down under water and places at a depth of 10 cm.
  • Retting is a microbial process by which the fibre from the woody core (stick) is loosened. Bacteria and fungi act upon the soft tissues of the stem, which on dissolution makes it easy to separate the fibre from the core (stick). At normal temperature of 34° C, it taken generally 8-10 days for complete retting.
  • Jute Grading = Jute cultivation is confined to West Bengal, Eastern Bihar, Assam, Orissa, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh where mostly Mesta (In trade and industry both the Jute and Mesta fibre together is known as Raw jute) is grown. Out of these states, West Bengal, Bihar and Assam contribute about 80% of the total production.

    Above image is of Top Jute Producing States is Highlighted.

Advantages of Jute

  • Great Anti-Static Property.
  • Low Thermal Conductivity.
  • 100% Biodegradable, so it is environmental friendly fiber like cotton.
  • Cheap in market.
  • Jute can be widely used in Agriculture sector , Textile Sector, Woven sector, Non-woven sector.
  • Jute fiber can be easily blended in Natural and synthetic fiber.

 Disadvantages of Jute

  •  If Jute is wetted it loses its strength.
  • Create shade effect and becomes yellowish if sunlight is used.
  • The crease resistance (resistant to normal wrinkling) of Jute is low.

Importance of Jute Industry

  • Jute Geotextile is (a variety of jute available in woven and non-woven fabrics) used in erosion control, separation, filtration and drainage in civil engineering work, and agricultural uses.
  • Jute Geotextile also has application in rural road pavement construction and agro plant mulching.
  • Diversification of jute products has opened up large opportunity for employment generation.
    • Ex of diversified jute products include fancy jute bags, Jute soft luggage, Jute footwear, Jute door panels, Jute check sarees, Jute wide range of furnishing, Jute gift items, Jute table lamps, Jute floor decor, Jute wall decor etc.,
  • Jute bags have porosity, easily it can withstand the high temperature and are much stronger than the poly sacks.
  • Jute bags can be recycled and reused and can be easily repaired compared to others.

Government Steps for Promoting Jute Industry

  • Jute Corporation of India (JCI) procures raw jute at Minimum Support Price (MSP), fixed on the basis of recommendation of the commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices (CACP), from jute growers to safeguard their interest.
  • Incentive Scheme for Acquisition of Plants and Machinery (ISAPM):- Launched in 2013, it aims to facilitate modernization in existing and new jute mills and up gradation of technology in existing jute mills .
  • Jute-ICARE (Jute Improved Cultivation and Advanced Retting Exercise):– This pilot project launched in 2015 is aimed at addressing the difficulties faced by the jute cultivators by providing them certified seeds at subsidized rates, and by popularizing several newly developed retting technologies under water limiting conditions.
  • The National Jute Board (NJB) implements various schemes for market development, worker’s welfare and promotion of diversification and exports.
  • In order to boost demand in the Jute sector, the Government has also imposed Anti-Dumping duty on import of jute goods from Bangladesh and Nepal.

Contempt of Court


The CJI pointed to how courts had to deal with the new problem of “contempt petitions” triggered by the “deliberate inaction” of governments that chose to ignore judgments and orders.


GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. What did the CJI say?
  2. What is contempt of court?
  3. What is the statutory basis for contempt of court?
  4. What are the kinds of contempt of court?
  5. What is not contempt of court?

What did the CJI say?

  • The contempt petitions are a new category of burden on the courts, which is a direct result of the defiance by the governments.
  • Such actions show sheer defiance of governments towards judicial pronouncements.
  • There is visible inclination to pass off the responsibility of decision-making to courts.
  • The legislature’s work show ambiguity, lack of foresight and public consultation before making laws have led to docket explosion.

What is contempt of court?

Contempt of court, as a concept that seeks to protect judicial institutions from motivated attacks and unwarranted criticism, and as a legal mechanism to punish those who lower its authority, is back in the news in India.

How did the concept of contempt come into being?

  • The concept of contempt of court is several centuries old.
  • In England, it is a common law principle that seeks to protect the judicial power of the king, initially exercised by himself, and later by a panel of judges who acted in his name.
  • Violation of the judges’ orders was considered an affront to the king himself.

What is the statutory basis for contempt of court?

  • There were pre-Independence laws of contempt in India.
  • When the Constitution was adopted, contempt of court was made one of the restrictions on freedom of speech and expression.
  • Article 129 of the Constitution conferred on the Supreme Court the power to punish contempt of itself.
  • Article 215 conferred a corresponding power on the High Courts.
  • The Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, gives statutory backing to the idea.

What are the kinds of contempt of court?

  • The law codifying contempt classifies it as civil and criminal.
  • Civil Contempt – when someone wilfully disobeys a court order, or wilfully breaches an undertaking given to court.
  • Criminal Contempt – consists of three forms:
    • words, written or spoken, signs and actions that “scandalise” or “tend to scandalise” or “lower” or “tends to lower” the authority of any court
    • prejudices or interferes with any judicial proceeding and
    • interferes with or obstructs the administration of justice.
  • Making allegations against the judiciary or individual judges, attributing motives to judgments and judicial functioning and any scurrilous attack on the conduct of judges are normally considered matters that scandalise the judiciary.
  • The rationale for this provision is that courts must be protected from tendentious attacks that lower its authority, defame its public image and make the public lose faith in its impartiality.
  • The punishment for contempt of court is simple imprisonment for a term up to six months and/or a fine of up to RS. 2,000.

What is not contempt of court?

  • Fair and accurate reporting of judicial proceedings will not amount to contempt of court.
  • Nor is any fair criticism on the merits of a judicial order after a case is heard and disposed of.
  • Truth as a defence against a contempt charge: For many years, truth was seldom considered a defence against a charge of contempt. There was an impression that the judiciary tended to hide any misconduct among its individual members in the name of protecting the image of the institution. The Act was amended in 2006 to introduce truth as a valid defence, if it was in public interest and was invoked in a bona fide manner.


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