Current Affairs

What is the three-language formula?

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has said the three language policy is not applicable to offices of the Union government.

  • “As per the provision of the Official Language Act, 1963, and the Official Language Rules, 1976, the provision of bilingual policy is applicable in the offices of the Central government.”


  • In the draft NEP released last year, a paragraph suggested that under the three-language formula, teaching/learning Hindi will be mandatory in those states where the language is not usually spoken.
  • Following protests by non-Hindi speaking states like Tamil Nadu, the Centre dropped the reference to mandatory learning of Hindi.
  • The choice of languages learnt will depend on the state and the students. However, it is mandatory for at least two of the three languages to be native to the country – one of which is most likely to be the local/regional language.
  • Although a statement issued by the Ministry of Education says that “no language will be imposed on any student”, it is not clear to what extent a student will be able to choose a particular language.

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