Minister for Agriculture Production, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura today informed that Government is taking various steps for promotion and propagation of Urdu language in the State.
Replying, on behalf of Minister for Culture, to a clubbed question of Naresh Kumar Gupta and Zaffar Iqbal Manhas, the Minister informed that as per the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, Urdu shall be the official language of the State. He said the English language shall, unless the Legislature by Law otherwise provides, continue to be used for all the official purposes of the State for which it was to be used immediately before the commencement of the Constitution.
Informing the House about various steps taken by the Government for Promotion of Urdu, the Minister said the Government has issued instructions to the Departments to indicate the name of offices in Urdu along with English. He said the names of Government Departments, Public Places, Streets and Historical Places should also be indicated in Urdu, adding that Urdu is being extensively used in Revenue, Police Department and Subordinate Judiciary.
The Minister said the J&K State Public Service Commission conducts various Departmental Examinations for the Departments like Revenue Service, Executive and Excise and Taxation in which candidates can write their papers either in English or in Urdu. In KCS (Judicial) some portion of a paper contains translations from English to Urdu or vice-versa, he said.
In respect of the Combined Competitive Examination (KAS), there is none optional paper in Urdu, besides, it is mandatory for KAS and IAS probationers to pass Urdu paper in the Departmental Examinations prescribed for them, he said.
Hanjura said that for direct recruitment of Patwaris and Naib Tehsildars, the knowledge of Urdu is one of the basic eligibility criteria as the entire Revenue record is maintained in Urdu script.
The Minister said that a High Level Committee headed by the Chief Secretary was constituted for submission of recommendations for setting up of J&K Council for promotion of Urdu which is under process.
Hanjura said for promotion and propagation of Urdu, the Academy of Art Culture and Languages is in operation of publication of monthly magazine in Urdu (Sheeraza) and Bi-monthly Urdu News Letter “SAQAFAT”. He said that the Grant of financial assistance to writers for publication of books in Urdu, organizing seminars, workshop, mushairas is also being provided. Staging Theatre shows and plays in Urdu, Grant of best books award in Urdu language with cash prize of Rs.51,000, Grant of translation awards in Urdu with cash Prize of Rs. 25,000, Best play script award in Urdu, running of 3 years course in Urdu Calligraphy and Holding of writers camps are also undertaken, he added.
The Minister said the State follows three language teaching up to Secondary level whereby along with English either Hindi or Urdu is taught as compulsory subject apart from Dogri/Kashmiri/Bhoti in respective region. Hindi, Urdu Dogri and Kashmir are optional subjects at 11th and 12th level, he added.
The Minister said there is no proposal to establish a separate Urdu University, saying that there are three Universities, University of Jammu, University of Kashmir and Central University Kashmir wherein Urdu is taught at P.G. level, besides offering M. Phil and Ph. D Programmes.
Hanjura said Iqbal Institute of Culture and Philosophy at the University of Kashmir is exclusively working for promotion of Urdu by offering M. Phil and Ph. D programmes
The Minister informed that there are 147 sanctioned posts of Assistant Professors in Urdu in the Government Degree Colleges of the State.
The Minister said Under Digital India Land Records Modernization Programme (DILRMP), the revenue records shall also be maintained in Urdu only. He said the Urdu is being used as the main language in the Police Department and the works in the Police Stations beginning from registration of complaints up to production of challans is done in Urdu.
Hanjura said that in view the importance of Urdu, the same has been included as a compulsory subject in the Basic Recruitment Training Course of Constables and Non-Gazetted Officers/Gazetted Officers are confirmed only after qualifying the test in Urdu.
Bashir Ahmad Veeri raised supplementary to the main question.