One year on, language panel incomplete, without Act

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 15, 2017-

Nearly a year since its formation, the Language Commission, tasked with recommending the languages for official use, is yet to get is full shape.

The Pushpa Kamal Dahal government on September 8 last year formed the commission, according to Article 287 of the Constitution of Nepal. The government formed the commission two weeks before the constitutional deadline, without formulating the law, which is a must for its full fledged functioning.

The constitution outlines nine functions of the commission, the major one being formulating criteria for deciding the official language at the central, provincial and local levels. However, in the 10 months of its tenure, the commission has only collected recommendations from experts via consultation meetings in the seven provinces.

In the lack of the Act and members, the commission has not been able to work properly, commission Chairman Lava Deo Awasthi said at an interaction in the Capital on Wednesday. The constitution gives the commission members as required. In principle, one member from each province is represented in the commission. Currently Awasthi is the lone member of the panel.

Without its recommendation, some of the local level units with elected representatives have started adopting their official language. The decision worries the commission.

“The commission has to accomplish its task as soon as possible. I will also take an initiative to endorse its Act and appointment of other members,” Speaker Onasari Gharti told the programme.

The constitutional commission will also recommend measures for protection and promotion of languages. It will suggest the language of instruction in academic 

institutions and maintain a record of languages that face existential threat. The 

2011 census records 123 languages in the country, listing around two dozen as being on the verge of extinction. In reality, hardly 100 languages are spoken.

Published: 15-07-2017 07:20

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