Go MISSION STATEMENT: Central Institute of Indian Languages was established to co-ordinate the development of Indian Languages, to bring about the essential unity of Indian languages through scientific studies, Promote inter-disciplinary research, contribute to mutual enrichment of languages, and thus contribute towards emotional integration of people of India. Reset Default Text Size Theme



  • The Central Institute of Indian Languages (abbreviated as ‘CIIL’) is entrusted with the responsibility of conducting research in the following major areas:

    • Language analysis,
    • Language pedagogy,
    • Language technology, and
    • Language use

  • All its research and development activities are directed towards solving of problems related to language that emerge in various socio-cultural domains such as education, literacy, mass media, governance, and emotional integration.

  • The Institute is involved in the description and codification of smaller and endangered languages and cultures.

  • It also develops models, methods, materials and human resources for their use in education.
  • It is also devoted to various activities that fall in the area of planning for the status of the 8th Schedule languages and with development of corpus in each one of them.

  • The Institute is also called upon for implementation of policies of the government as regards their use as medium of instruction and administration at all levels. 

  • The Institute also helps the Government in coordinating the development of all Indian languages. 

  • CIIL has seven Regional Language Centers at ERLC Bubaneswar.  NERLC Guwahati, UTRC Lucknow, SRLC Mysore, NRLC Patiala, WRLC Pune and UTRC Solan where 10-month long courses in 15 Indian languages are taught.

  • The Institute also offers Grants-in-Aid (GIA) in respect of bulk purchase, publication of manuscripts, and conducting of academic events as well as teaching in respect of all Indian languages, excepting Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, and Sindhi.

  • CIIL has now been entrusted with the Tamil Development Scheme under the declraration of Tamil as a Classical Language.


For details in respect of the major Schemes, see the EFC memoranda of the institute and its Regional Language Centers at

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A great deal depends upon our country’s educational institutions, on their ability to contribute towards the development of symmetrical bi-lingualism at different levels leading to balanced multi-lingualism.  Various governmental agencies of the Centre and the States, and the non-governmental agencies, including the autonomous academic institutions, should pull their weight together and pool their resources to ensure that the development of Indian languages is linked with the results obtained from linguistic studies.  This would help, in a substantial measure, the acceleration of the pace of programmes of book production and book promotion, programmes relating to language teaching and language use and the elimination of duplication  and waste.  The first function assigned to the Institute is to co-ordinate the work of State Language Institutes; Tribal Research Institutes and Bureaus; University Departments of Languages and Linguistics, Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad, Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra; the Anthropological Survey of India; The Chief Epigraphist’s Office of the Archaeological Survey of India, Language  Division of the Registrar General’s Office and other academic bodies or organizations engaged in language related activities.


One of the serious problems faced equally by scholars as well as other persons involved in language related activities is the lack of up-to –date information on work done, being done or envisaged to be done, the scholars and the institutions engaged in such activities, the publishers and other agencies from ‘where such material or information can be obtained.  There is an urgent need of an appropriate organization acting as the Clearing House of information in this regard.  By the very nature of its  organizational set up, its research programmes and other activities and also as the coordinating agency, the CIIL is charged with the responsibility to serve as a clearing house on all matters relating to the development of Indian languages in this country and abroad.  In fulfillment of this function, the Institute has plans to bring out in future bibliographies, directories of voluntary agencies, Tribal Institutes and other organizations working in the area of languages and linguistics.  A Web Site is being created to fulfill this need of the public.

It is also enjoined upon the Institute to help in developing meaningful inter- disciplinary collaboration among departments of universities.  Both the linguistics and languages departments have been engaged in a jurisdictional debate which has resulted in the insulation of the study of languages from the effective use of the conclusions reached by linguistics.  In spite of Indian languages belonging to four language families, India has developed and has been recognized as a ‘ linguistic area’ by scholars.  But a lot of scientific linguistic work needs to be  done  to establish  Regional Universals among the Indian Languages and also to establish their close kinship.  The Institute is therefore enjoined to formulate and execute important cooperative projects in the area of inter-linguistic research and development

With a view to getting linguistic and language  data useful for applied linguistics work, language planning and development and also for the development of theoretical insights on the basis of indigenous data,  it is essential that sample surveys and depth surveys be undertaken by the CIIL and the universities and other Institutions.  For such studies to be useful a minimum frame of research and a common programme needs to be decided upon and adhered to in order to yield comparable data on an all-India basis.  Thus,  the Institute has the responsibility of initiating and implementing language related surveys, including a socio-linguistic survey of the country, depth studies, projects of interdisciplinary character and for coordinating the activities of universities and other Institutions engaged in such surveys and research.
It is expected that the Institute will serve as a nucleus to bring together all the research and literary output from the various linguistic streams to a common head, thereby demonstrating the fundamental unity of our country.
One of its major tasks is to identify the bonds of unity among different Indian languages in terms of the cross fertilization of history, literature, folklore, vocabulary, grammar, linguistic structure, cultural themes and subject content, etc.

India has a large tribal population, both in the border areas and inland regions.  Many of them are non-literates.  The study of their languages with a view to devising suitable material for teaching Indian languages to them and teaching their languages to such of the Indians who come either in administrative or cultural contact with them has become a pressing need of the time.  The Institute is, accordingly, charged with the responsibility of studying their languages and developing suitable material which will promote national cohesion through bi-directional communication.  For this purpose the Institute may collaborate with the State and Central agencies engaged in such work and establish its own Field and Transit stations wherever necessary.

Although each of the major Indian languages has a State or States as its home, languages like Sindhi and Urdu are spread among many States.  One of the special responsibilities of the Institute  is to promote the development of such non-State languages like Sindhi and Urdu.   The Union Ministry of Education and Social Welfare has since established a Board for the  development of Urdu and another Board for Sindhi.  However, the Institute is vested with the task of advising in the over-all planning and on specific issues needing academic solutions in this regard.
The application of linguistics in such and wide  and diverse fields as psychiatry and speech therapy on the one hand and machine translation and communication enginnering on the other has led to specific branches of study like psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, mathematical-linguistics, computational linguistics and  ethno linguistics.  As the vehicle and the expression of culture, language impinges on the study of sociology, history, geography, economics, anthropology, biology and other allied sciences.  The Institute has been given the responsibility of developing suitable inter-disciplinary courses inorder to give  linguistic orientation to social scientists and social science orientation to linguists.
Language teaching in India at the present  time is characterized by inertia.  All efforts at innovation so far have proved futile.  In this age of education explosion  the country cannot afford such inertia.  Measures must be taken to bring life into it and embark upon well-considered reforms and accelerate the pace of their implementation.  By defining the objectives of language learning and by using the latest methods and techniques of language teaching it is possible to shorten the period of instruction so that more time would be available for learning other foreign languages and for introducing science and technology at a more accelerated pace during the early years of education.  The Institute is thus responsible for the development of methods, materials and aids for teaching Indian languages at the primary, secondary and collegiate levels.  Besides, the Institute is to produce necessary teaching materials and evolve methods of teaching for non-literate and neo-literate and educated adults.  These will include programmed instruction, courses, audio-visual materials, etc.
One of the main difficulties in the implementation of three language formula and providing wider language choice to school children and arranging for the facilities for the children belonging to the linguistic minorities in different states has been the lack of trained teachers to introduce such teaching in the school system.  With a view to solving this problem, the Institute has been given the function of offering both short and intensive as well as full-time courses in Indian languages.  To begin with, these courses will be offered to graduate teachers deputed by State Governments for learning of languages other than Hindi and English.
Technology has revolutionized education as much as it has affected human life.  The development of new educational media and techniques or the effective utilization of instructional technology are the most powerful tools in the hands of the teachers to bring about definite qualitative improvement in language education.  The Institute, among other things, is also made responsible for the application of language technology to Indian languages with a view to promoting their effective use in modern media of recording and communication.
Tribalism and parochialism, ethnocentrisms and linguistic fanaticism can be brought to an end scientifically and socially both in space and time through translation.  However, translation is treated very casually in our country today.  A native speaker of any language is assumed to have sufficient control of the language for purposes of translation.  It is seldom realized that translation involves not only manipulation of grammar of the source and target languages but also requires manipulation of style and content, which is not merely subject-matter in the narrow sense of the term but includes manners and morals, beliefs and faiths, norms and practices of a people.  The Institute is accordingly responsible for the development of suitable translation techniques, (both human and mechanical) and conduct of courses for translators and interpreters.
Many agencies and institutions, both national and international, are interested in the scientific study of Indian languages.  No single organization can however tackle problems of such magnitude as exist in the country.  The Central Institute of Indian Languages will therefore collaborate with other organizations and institutions working for the development of Indian languages inside and outside  the country.
To achieve coordination and break intra-disciplinary isolation, the Institute is charged with the responsibility of holding of seminars, workshops, summer institutes and short-term courses for special groups like language teachers, teacher educators, telephonists, radio announcers, etc.
In advising the Government for balanced language planning in the country, the Institute is bound to face many problems not anticipated in the functions visualized above.  This is why the Central Institute of Indian Languages is authorized to undertake such other activities including fundamental applied research as are found necessary for achieving the objectives of the Sansthan.

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