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President Kovind gives assent to Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill

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New Delhi, Sep 27: A new law that provides for inclusion of Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi in the list of official languages in Jammu and Kashmir, in addition to Urdu and English, has been notified after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent.

The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020, was passed by Parliament in the recently concluded Monsoon Session.

President Ram Nath Kovind

The Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Act, 2020, received assent of the President on September 26, according to a gazette notification.

According to government data, 53.26 per cent of the population of Jammu and Kashmir speaks Kashmiri language.

Explained: What is the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill, 2020

26.64 per cent of the population of the UT speaks Dogri while Urdu, which is currently its official language, is spoken only by 0.16 per cent population there. Still for the last 70 years, Urdu continues to be the official language of Jammu and Kashmir, he said, adding that 2.36 per cent population in the UT speaks Hindi.

Opposing the bill, Hasnain Masoodi (National Conference) said the central government does not have the legislative competence to frame a bill in this regard.

He said it is not a fact that only 0.16 per cent population of the UT speaks Urdu which is a link language between Jammu region and Kashmir.

Masoodi said if only 0.16 per cent people in the UT speak Urdu, then why would the government include it as an official language.

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