Third Language Bill – Boon Or Bane

Third Language Bill – Boon Or Bane

Pranjali Pandya_JudicateMe


This Blog is written by Pranjali Pandya from Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University, Andhra PradeshEdited by Saradarasagnya Oleti.



India is a linguistic treasure – trove. India is widely known for its extraordinary linguistic and cultural diversity within the world. The country has around 19,500 languages and dialects. Apart from which 121 languages which are spoken by 10,000 or more people across the country.


Language is a tool for intellectual and emotional expression – to communicate and express one`s feelings and thought. It is a vehicle of intergenerational transmission of culture, scientific knowledge. Plays a vital role in an individual’s identity.


1) First language: it will be the mother tongue or the regional language.

2) Second language: in the Hindi speaking states, it will be other modern Indian languages or English. In non – Hindi speaking states, it will be Hindi or English.

3) Third language: in Hindi speaking states, it will be English or a modern Indian language. In the non – Hindi speaking state, it will be English or a modern Indian language.

Ministry of Education of the Government of India in the year 1968 had formulated the Three – Language Formula. The same was enunciated in the same year in National Policy Resolution which provided for the study of “Hindi, English and modern Indian language (preferably the South Indian Language) in the Hindi speaking states and Hindi, English and the Regional language in the non – Hindi speaking states”.


The Education system in a country like India has been segregated into three parts that is – Primary, Secondary and Higher Secondary. The Bill was to provide for the compulsory Third Language Education from Primary standard itself to the Senior Secondary level in all the schools in all the states of the Country. It is quite imperative for school students to take up a Third Language other than Hindi, English or the Student`s Mother tongue, as the Third language. The Third language in this context would include which is mentioned in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and for making it obligatory for the Central and State Governments to provide requisite infrastructure for the same.


The Central Government is to formulate a National Policy for providing with the Third Language education is all the schools in the states. Not only providing with this but also, ensuring requisite infrastructure and other education and facilities required.


1. To include the Third Language education for all the students as a part of the

2. The introduction of this would encourage and boost confidence in the students to learn new Indian Language and also introducing the student to rich literature, new culture, and tradition.

3. Ensuring the availability of third language teachers in all the schools.

4. Making available adequate funds for the proper infrastructure facility for teaching the subject.

5. Making the Third Language subject as one of the compulsory subject in all the schools.

6. Maintaining standard and qualitative syllabus for the Third Language subject as per the Class.

7. Availing scholarship and stipend to the eligible and needy students, and also to those who have secured good marks or grades in the Third Language subject.

8. Giving weightage to marks or grades obtained in the said subject for admission in Colleges, Universities and Institutions of national importance.

9. Preference is given to the outstanding students in direct recruitment under the Central and State Government services.


Any School within the country which violates the provision of the Act or in easy word do not introduce the compulsory Third Language teaching within the students, shall be liable for punitive action. This will also include the withdrawal of recognition of the school which has violated the provision.


A. Fund giving – The Central Government shall; after due appropriation made by the Parliament of India by law shall provide for the requisite funds from time to time for carrying out the very object of making Third Language teaching to students.

B. Power to make relevant rules – The Central Government, may by notification in the Official Gazette make rules for proper functioning of the object.


The major fear with the implementation of the Three Language Formula comes from the increased pressure on young students. Firstly, they have to study six main and core subjects now after the introduction of the Third Language Formula, instead of five main subjects.


Significance of the Language in the society 

Most of the students had opted for foreign language instead of a regional language that they are familiar with. This decision had kept them away from the national language or the language that allows them to communicate freely with each other in the society or within the state, irrespective of status, caste or religion. The importance of Hindi will be also learned and understood with the implementation of the Third Language Formula.

Significance of Regional Language

The native is known as the place where an individual is born and brought up in. One should always feel the privilege of his or her native place and must remember the roots of the place where one is born. In today`s scenario, regional language is losing its importance. The same is being ignorant and forgotten about, particularly among Centre board private school students where they can easily opt for learning the regional language.

Advantageous because the board (CBSE) says so

The Central Board of Secondary Education have brought a great emphasis on the importance of inculcating Third Language Teaching among young students. The CBSE syllabus is meant to include subjects like that of English, Hindi, and an Indian language, while foreign language is supposed to be the fourth optional language subject for Class 10 Board papers. Parents believe that a foreign language would be benefitting and hence misuse this and force them to learn a foreign language on the students.

Extending the formula to Class 10 students

Students do not take the studying of Third Language much seriously as they know that they are only to study the same third language subject only till standard VIII. They are left out of actually learning the regional language which is the main motive behind the implementation of three language formula.


Increase in burden upon the students

The inclusion of Third Language and making it a compulsory subject brings a burden on the young student who previously had five subjects and now the inclusion of the new subject would make it six. Not every individual is well – versed with the regional language, especially those students who have studied from various schools across the country, due to transfer or any other reason. Students can also lose the opportunity to get good grades or percentages because of this change and their future could also be affected cause of this formula. The kind of pressure this would put on the mental health of the students is treacherous.

Forcing the Sanskrit language in some regions

In many of the states in India where the regional language is Hindi for example states like that of – Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, students in such states would only have the option of choosing Sanskrit, not according to their choice, but by the choice, the education in the school provide for. These states usually have additional language teachers only for the Sanskrit language so there is no other point in saying the students that they have a vast variety of language to choose from.

Practically not much applicable

It is vital to being able to read and understand regional language and that is something which students easily grab while growing in a region and studying the same regional language till Class VIII. Learning a language will make them genius but these languages are not much applicable in practical life. Forcing to study the third language among the students is a burdensome task particularly when they are not much of use later.


As to why the Southern states are opposing the imposition of Hindi language?

The Southern states particularly Tamil Nadu, had many times since the year 1965 had opposed the requirement to learn Hindi in the states. Even Puducherry and Tripura were not ready to teach the Hindi language and Hindi – speaking states did not include and South Indian language in their school curriculum.

One major reason for the denial of the implementation is – that the state government often does not have adequate resources to implement the Three Language Formula. The inadequacy of resources is one major reason for the challenge.


India is a very diverse country. There are actually places where more than three languages are being used. Three languages which include English, Hindi, and Regional Language will have the broadest scope and reach the global people within the state or intra states and even people across the country. Three language formulae is a bane, because learning language is always good, this learning will allow us to understand our diversity, culture, and tradition in a better way. We are diverse but one nation and our diversity are not to keep it isolated to a specific place or people but to celebrate it together.

One Thought to “Third Language Bill – Boon Or Bane”

  1. Jinam Gugale

    your conclusion explains about how it is boon, and u wrote it is bane.

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