India: Govt to publish dictionaries of regional languages with scientific, technical terms

Indian Ministry of Education’s Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT) is working to develop underrepresented technical and scientific terminology in 10 Indian regional languages.

Sanskrit, Bodo, Santhali, Dogri, Kashmiri, Konkani, Nepali, Manipuri, Sindhi, Maithili, and Konkani are among the 22 languages included in India’s Eighth Schedule as official languages. However, there is little study material produced in them, mostly because of a lack of vocabulary to explain technical concepts and scientific terms.


In three to four months, the CSTT will release what it refers to as basic dictionaries, with 5,000 terms in each language. These will be accessible digitally, without charge, and in a searchable format. There will be 1,000–2,000 copies printed in each language.

The first priority is to cover 15 fields, including civil and electrical engineering, journalism, public administration, chemistry, botany, zoology, psychology, physics, economics, Ayurveda, and mathematics. These will make it possible to create textbooks for both university and middle and senior schools.


To assist in the preparation of content for entrance exams like the Common University Entrance Test (CUET), Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main, and University Grants Commission (UGC)-National Eligibility Test (NET), the dictionaries will be distributed to State education boards, universities, engineering schools, and the National Testing Agency.

In 1950, 14 languages were included in the national language list. Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, and Santhali were introduced in 2004, Konkani, Manipuri, and Sindhi in 1992, and Sindhi in 1967.

“There is a lack of content and linguistic resources in these 10 languages, leading to a lack of availability of learning material in these languages,” Prof. Girish Nath Jha, chairperson of the CSTT, Ministry of Education, said, reported The Hindu. 

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The CSTT was established in 1961 with the purpose of developing technical vocabularies in all Indian languages. For speedy internet distribution, the agency is concluding multiple memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with prestigious institutions, including IIT Bombay.

The decision is significant since the National Education Policy 2020 supports teaching in regional languages in both schools and colleges.

In response, the government launched a number of efforts, including the introduction of engineering and medical programmes in local languages in several states. The UGC has further said that it would soon publish a roadmap for the introduction of undergraduate and graduate programmes in regional languages across all academic fields, including business, humanities, and science.

A panel was also established in June by the Bar Council of India (BCI) to make suggestions about the implementation of regional language courses in law institutes.


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