About the day-
- The Day is part of a broader initiative to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by people of the world.
- The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day first came from Bangladesh.
- The general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) decided to celebrate February 21 as International Mother Language Day in 2000.
- The theme of 2022 is: “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”, it focuses on potential role of technology to advance multilingual education and support the development of quality teaching and learning for all.
- This year the Day will be celebrated as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
- To mark the day, the Ministry of Culture organized a two-day programme in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts (IGNCA) and UNESCO New Delhi Cluster Office in physical and virtual format.
Mother tongues in India-
- According to census data, more than 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India as mother tongue.
- There are 121 languages which are spoken by 10,000 or more people in India.
- The 121 languages are presented in two parts – languages included in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, comprising 22 languages and languages not included in the Eighth Schedule, comprising 99 languages.
- The scheduled languages, as mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution, are: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri.
- Of these languages, 14 were initially included in the Constitution. Sindhi language was added in 1967.
- Thereafter three more languages viz., Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali were included in 1992.
- Bodo, Dogri, Maithili and Santhali were added in 2004.