About Regional Language Centres

On 17th July 1969, the Government of India established the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), for the promotion of Indian languages. CIIL served 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 the country. Thus, from the very beginning, the Central Institute of Indian Languages is charged with the responsibility of conducting research in the areas of language analysis, language pedagogy, language technology and language use with a bias towards problem-solving and national integration.

The Government’s resolution of the 18th January, 1968 on the language Policy, as adopted by both the Houses of Parliament, emphasized on the educational and cultural advancement of the country and undertaking of the necessary initiatives to implement the Three-Language-Formula by the Union Government in association with the State Governments. It further emphasized on the inclusion of an Indian Language (ideally a South-Indian Language) in addition to Hindi and English in Hindi speaking regions and Hindi along with a regional language in non-Hindi speaking parts of the country as part of the formula envisaged by the government. The diversity of Indian linguistic landscape and the need to preserve and promote the knowledge tradition in and about Indian languages, the establishment of the Regional Language Centres under the Central Institute of Indian Languages was an absolute necessity and thus with the agreement of the Planning Commission and Finance Ministry a separate fund dedicated towards the aforesaid purpose was set apart.

The establishment of the Regional Language Centres was also boosted by the obstacles faced during the implementation of the Three-Language-Formula. During a meeting held on 9th January, 1969 under the chairmanship of the former Minister of Education, Dr. Triguna Sen, an issue regarding providing assistance to teach Hindi in South Indian states and no proper support for teaching a modern Indian language to Hindi-speaking states was brought to the table. The meeting resulted in the formation of a Study Group who suggested initiating an organised program that would facilitate learning a language from the Southern part of India for the people from Hindi-speaking areas. On the other hand, it was decided that the establishment of Regional Language Centres would solve the problem of teaching a modern Indian language for the teachers belonging to the Hindi belt. Thus, the RLCs came into being with the ambitious attempt of the Union Government to promote and propagate multilingualism in the country.

Initially the Central Institute of India Languages established the 4 Regional Institute of Languages with a goal of implementing the three language formula and thereby promoting national integrity and social harmony in Bhubaneswar, Mysore, Patiala and Pune in the year 1970. These centres began second language teaching in the country which is the first of its kind. Later on three more centres were set up, out of which two were for Urdu and one for North-Eastern Language in Solan, Lucknow and Guwahati respectively.

The Regional Language Centres started offering a 10-month language training programme to the in-service teachers in the beginning. In the later years, the programme even offered training for prospective teachers, research scholars and the general public who are interested in developing a career in Indian languages. This is an innovative programme with an objective to promote multilingualism among the citizens of this country and thereby promote national integrity and social harmony.

# Centres Language Seat
1 Southern Regional Language Centre, Mysuru Kannada 22
Malayalam 22
Tamil 22
Telugu 22
2 Eastern Regional Language Centre, Bhubaneswar Bengali 22
Maithili 22
Oriya 22
Santali 22
3 Northern Regional Language Centre, Patiala Dogri 22
Kashmiri 22
Punjabi 22
Urdu 22
4 Western Regional Language Centre, Pune Gujarati 22
Konkani 22
Marathi 22
Sindhi 22
5 Urdu Teaching and Research Centre, Solan Urdu 22
6 Urdu Teaching and Research Centre, Lucknow Urdu 22
7 North Eastern Regional Language Centre, Guwahati Assamese 22
Bodo 22
Manipuri 22
Nepali 22
Total 506

During the last 5 decades of the existence of these centres, they have been promoting second language teachings in the nation continuously. In addition to teaching, these centre were assigned the task of producing world class material for simplifying teaching and reducing the time elements in different languages through language laboratory materials.

Apart from this, the centres regularly organise workshops for the preparation of suitable instructional materials for the learning and teaching of Indian languages as a second language at different levels for different cross sections of the society. The centres are also dedicated in conducting programmes to encourage the scholars to do research on language education and learning as well.

Major objectives

The major objective of the scheme of Regional Language Centres is to provide an incentive to all Indian states on an even basis to implement the Three-Language Formula and to offer assistance

  1. To Hindi speaking states to get their teachers trained in a non-Hindi language, and

  2. To non-Hindi states to get some of their teachers trained in an Indian language other than their state language, and Hindi.

Main functions

The main functions of the Regional Language Centres include the following:

  1. To offer intensive courses in various Indian languages (other than their mother tongue) for in-service secondary school teachers (deputed by different state governments) through modern methods, including instruction in the language laboratory in three levels, viz., basic, intermediate and advanced courses (special emphasis is given to speaking and comprehension in the first stage and speaking, reading and writing at the subsequent stages).

  2. To train these teachers in the methodology of teaching the second language by giving them linguistic orientation; to enable them to prepare teaching material and use it in their institution after the completion of the course.

  3. To prepare suitable instructional materials for the learning and teaching of Indian languages as a second language at different levels for different cross sections of the society.

  4. To evaluate the performance of ex-teacher trainees in teaching and to conduct refresher courses.

  5. To help the governments in states and union territories in preparing second language curriculum, textbooks and in material production and teacher training.

  6. To undertake research related to language teaching theories and methods as well as learners’ performance.

  7. To organize short term need based courses for Indians and Foreign nationals under Indian Studies Programme.

  8. To conduct national and international level seminars and conferences on themes related to language education.

Future plan

The different departments, academic bodies, institutions have requested for a greater input of extension and consultancy work on the part of the Central Institute of Indian Languages and Regional Language Centres in their language programmes, second language as well as mother tongue. The Institute has plans to set up a full-fledged Extension and Consultancy Unit in all the Regional Language Centres’ to:

  1. Supervise and assess the teaching work undertaken by the teacher trainees after their return to their school.

  2. Visit these schools and give academic advice to the teachers on the spot.

  3. Solve problems in classroom teaching and material production in the light of the school curriculum.

  4. Advise the states on language evaluation, testing, curriculum framing, textbook writing and selection as and when requested by the states.

  5. Organize and conduct Refresher Courses for ex-teacher trainees and to organize and conduct workshops in material production in evaluation when needed.

  6. Organize language camps for the school children being taught second/ third languages by the ex-teacher trainees.

  7. Collect information on the language related issues from the States and Union Territories, keep in touch with Education and Tribal departments and undertake such other action as needed.

  8. Centres have a plan to develop MOOCS courses in Regional Languages to teach languages online.

  9. To extent this program to other Indian language also.