The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Act, 2020, that lists the languages to be used for official purposes in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and for matters connected therewith, has received the assent of President Ram Nath Kovind and been notified by the Centre.
As per the Centre’s notification appearing in the official Gazette, this Act may be called the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Act, 2020, as per which, Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi and English shall be the languages used for all or any official purpose in the Union Territory.
“The J&K Official Languages Act, 2020, as per which Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Hindi and English shall be the official languages of the UT, has received Presidential assent and been notified by the Centre,” a government spokesman said.
The Act further provides that business in the Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory shall be transacted in the official language or languages.
The administrator (lieutenant governor) may, for the promotion and development of regional languages of the Union Territory, take necessary steps to strengthen existing institutional mechanisms such as the Academy of Art, Culture and languages in the Union Territory.
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It further provides that institutional mechanisms shall make special efforts for the promotion and development of Gojri, Pahari and Punjabi languages.
There has been a growing demand for the inclusion of more languages into the list of official languages, especially Punjabi and Gojri. However, by this order, the government seems to have put full stop to the proposal of including more languages in the list.