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Languages with official status in India

The Constitution of India designates the official language of the Government of India as Hindi written in the Devanagari script, as well as English. There is no national language as declared by the Constitution of India.Hindi and English are used for official purposes such as parliamentary proceedings, judiciary, communications between the Central Government and a State Government. States within India have the liberty and powers to specify their own official language(s) through legislation and therefore there are 22 officially recognized languages in India. The number of native Hindi speakers ranges between 14.5 and 24.5% in total Indian population, however, other dialects of Hindi termed as Hindi languages are spoken by nearly 45% of Indians, mostly accounted from the states falling under the Hindi belt. Other Indian languages are each spoken by around 10% or less of the population.

States specify their own official language(s) through legislation. The section of the Constitution of India dealing with official languages therefore includes detailed provisions which deal not just with the languages used for the official purposes of the union, but also with the languages that are to be used for the official purposes of each state and union territory in the country, and the languages that are to be used for communication between the union and the states inter se.

During the British Raj, English was used for purposes at the federal level. The Indian constitution adopted in 1950 envisaged that Hindi would be gradually phased in to replace English over a fifteen-year period, but gave Parliament the power to, by law, provide for the continued use of English even thereafter. Plans to make Hindi the sole official language of the Republic met with resistance in some parts of the country. Hindi continues to be used today, in combination with other (at the central level and in some states) State official languages at the state level.