Current Affairs - January 2017

Don’t add Hindi dialects in Eighth Schedule: Scholars

A group of Hindi professors have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting not to add dialects of Hindi, like Bhojpuri and Rajasthani, in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as full-fledged Indian languages.

This development comes months after Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal had announced that Rajasthani will be added to 8th Schedule. In December 2016, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also had raised a similar demanded for Bhojpuri.

What these HIndi scholars are arguing?

Eighth schedule means independent identity of a language and Hindi’s prime strength is the large number of its speakers. Recognition of its dialects as separate languages will deprive Hindi of millions of its speakers. They fear that there will be eventually be no Hindi left if its key dialects are recognised as separate languages. 

Eighth Schedule of the Constitution

They are the lists official languages recognised by the Constitution. The Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution contains a list of 22 scheduled languages viz. Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Sindhi (added by 21st Amendment Act, 1967), Konkani, Manipuri, Nepali (added by 71st Amendment Act, 1992), Bodo, Dogri, Maithili, Santal (added by 92nd Amendment 2003). The list had originally 14 languages only but subsequently through amendments 8 new languages were added (highlighted in bold).

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IORA finalises MoU for cooperation in SME sector

Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) member-states have finalised Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for cooperation in small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector.

The MoUs were finalised during the Workshop on MSME Cooperation amongst IORA member countries held in New Delhi. They will take effect for each party upon signature by 5 countries.

Focus areas of MoUs
  • Finalise linkages and alliances amongst MSMEs organizations, associations and various institutions engaged in MSME development in IORA countries.
  • Exchange best practices, programs and policies for MSME development.
  • Exchange greater involvement of MSMEs in the global supply chain and increase their market access.
  • Promote women and youth’s economic empowerment.
  • Encourage synergies with the IORA forum.

IORA Secretariat at Mauritius will be the coordinating agency for the implementation of the MoU. Besides, for to carrying out activities envisaged under this MoU, IORA special fund will be created by member countries.

Workshop on MSME Cooperation amongst IORA member countries: It was organised by Union Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and was attended by around 29 delegates from 14 IORA member-states.

About Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA)

  • IORA is an international organisation consisting of coastal states bordering the Indian Ocean established in 1997 to promote cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
  • It was formerly known as the Indian Ocean Rim Initiative and Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC). ItsIORA coordinating Secretariat is located at Ebene, Mauritius.
  • It is a regional forum, tripartite in nature that brings together representatives of Government, Business and Academia, for promoting co-operation and closer interaction among them.
  • It is based on the principles of Open Regionalism for strengthening economic cooperation particularly on trade facilitation and investment, promotion as well as social development of the region.
  • IORA comprises 21 member states and 7 dialogue partners, Indian Ocean Research Group and the Indian Ocean Tourism Organisation have observer status.

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