A total of 117 endangered languages and mother tongues from across India have been chosen for study and documentation on a priority basis, Union Minister of State for Education Subhas Sarkar said on Wednesday.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, he said there is no centralised data on the number of endangered languages in India.
Sarkar said, "The government has initiated a scheme known as 'Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India (SPPEL)'. Under this scheme, the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysuru, works on protection, preservation and documentation of all the mother tongues and languages of India spoken by less than 10,000 people which are called endangered languages.
He said, "117 endangered languages and mother tongues have been chosen from all over India for study and documentation on a priority basis."
Stating that there are no centralised data on the number of endangered languages in India, Sarkar said Rs 48.90 crore has been released by the University Grants Commission and CIIL under their schemes for protection of endangered Indian languages during the years 2015-16 to 2021-22.
On the progress of books to be published in Indian languages for engineering and how the government proposes to make more study material available in Indian languages, he said, "To provide engineering course material in Indian Languages, AICTE has introduced 'AICTE Technical Book Writing and Translation' in 12 scheduled Indian languages namely Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada, Punjabi, Odia, Assamese, Urdu and Malayalam.
"For the first year, 22 books have been translated into nine Indian languages and the translation in the remaining three Indian languages (Assamese, Urdu and Malayalam) is in process. In 2022-23, AICTE has already initiated the process for the second year's original book writing in English. 88 subjects (42 at degree level and 46 at diploma level) have been identified by AICTE for the second year and its chapter-wise translation into 12 Indian Languages has been initiated. A budget of Rs 18.6 crores has been earmarked by AICTE," Sarkar said.