Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment Current Affairs - 2020

2nd edition of Indian Sign Language Dictionary Launched

The Union Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawarchand Gehlot launched the 2nd Edition of Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary in New Delhi.

ISL Dictionary

  • The Dictionary was brought about by Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC) under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment.
  • The second edition dictionary includes total 6000 words under the categories of academic, legal, medical, technical and everyday terms against the first edition which had about 3000 words.
  • The ISL Dictionary is also available on ISLRTC’s YouTube channel.
  • The dictionary is intended to serve as a resource for ISL teachers, ISL learners, teachers of the hearing impaired, interpreters, parents of hearing-impaired children and researchers.
  • The dictionary was prepared with the involvement of the hearing impaired community, by giving due consideration to their suggestions and understanding.
  • The dictionary videos contain the sign, the English term for the sign and pictures where relevant and word list is also given with the English and Hindi equivalents of the signs.
  • National Workshops were conducted with hearing-impaired participants from all over India to provide feedback and suggestions on ISLRTC’s Dictionary. The videos recorded in the workshops have also been included as regional signs in the Dictionary.

Most of the hearing impaired persons use Indian Sign Language to communicate. The aim of the dictionary is to help spread the use of ISL which could result in better education and employment opportunities for hearing impaired persons.

India’s first sign language dictionary of 3000 words launched

The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched India’s first Sign Language Dictionary of 3000. The dictionary has been developed by Indian Sign Language Research & Training Centre (ISLR&TC) under Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). This dictionary is available in both print and video formats. It will help to bring uniformity in sign languages which are used by differently abled people especially people with hearing or speech impairment.

Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary

ISL dictionary consists of various categories of words for example legal terms, medical terms, academic terms, technical terms and daily use words. It also contains videos with subtitles and focuses on providing more information in ISL. It has English and Hindi terms to help deaf children to learn English. The ISL dictionary consists words of five categories:

  • Everyday Terms: It includes terms that are used in everyday communication. The videos contain the sign and corresponding English term.
  • Legal Terms: It includes videos for 237 legal terms help explain complicated legal terminologies that are used in various legal situations.
  • Academic Terms: It contains 229 videos for 212 terms to help deaf children understand complex academic concepts. It has words from various subjects like Physics, Geography, Biology, Maths, etc.
  • Medical Terms: It includes 200 sign videos for 200 medical terms will help deaf community to better understand medical terminology used in hospitals and in medical situations.
  • Technical Terms: It includes 206 videos of sign and explanations in Indian Sign Language (ISL) for 204 technical terms that are used in vocational training or in computer courses.


As per 2011 census, there are 50,71,007 deaf people and 19, 98,535 with speech disability in India. The ISL Dictionary aims to remove communications barriers between deaf and provide more information in ISL. It also aims to give deaf people constitutional right to speech and opportunity of freedom of expression and also bringing them into the main stream of society. Soon many new words will be added in it.