BJD, Cong fume as AIIMS-Bhubaneswar mandates use of Hindi in official work

Sampad Patnaik
BJD, Cong fume as AIIMS-Bhubaneswar mandates use of Hindi in official work

Speaking to The Indian Express, the order’s signatory, AIIMS-Bhubaneswar Deputy Director (Administration) P K Ray, said the order is only for administrative work.

An order from the senior administration of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar mandating the use of Hindi language in official communication drew sharp responses on Friday from BJD and Congress leaders.

A copy of the letter, shared by the staff, lists eight specific orders, such as they “should sign in Hindi, write name and subject on all files in Hindi, write name and sub headings of the registers in Hindi and also make entries in Hindi, write at least 30% noting and drafting in Hindi, at least 55% correspondence in Hindi, fill all up all bilingual office forms in Hindi, reply to all letters received in Hindi”.

The order also specifies that in administrative meetings, employees “may” have discussions in Hindi and “prepare the minutes in Hindi as far as possible”.

Speaking to The Indian Express, the order’s signatory, AIIMS-Bhubaneswar Deputy Director (Administration) P K Ray, said the order is only for administrative work.

Ray cited a classification of states under the Official Languages Act, 1963, and Official Languages Rules, 1976, where Odisha comes under Region C. The rules state that communication “between Central Government offices situated in Region B or Region C may be in Hindi or English provided that this communication shall be in such proportion as the Central Government may, having regard to the number of persons having working knowledge of Hindi in such offices and the facilities for sending communications in Hindi and matters incidental thereto, determine from time to time”.

Ray said, “In the last two years, there was an inspection by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Official Languages. We did not have a Hindi translator at the time. They (Committee) said that you (AIIMS-Bhubaneswar) are not making any progress in the matter, but we are giving you some time to recruit a Hindi translator and implement the provisions.”

Ray added that a Hindi translator had joined the hospital recently.

BJD MP from Puri, Pinaki Misra, said, “We are the first state to be formed on linguistic basis and we would not like to allow anybody sidelining our mother tongue. we will formally lodge our protest with the Health Ministry”.

Referring to the letter, Congress MP from Koraput Saptagiri Ulaka on Friday tweeted: So Bhubaneswar AIIMS has sent directives to speak, write in Hindi. Another attempt by the Central Government to impose Hindi at the cost of Odia in Odisha. Is the State Government aware of this and taking necessary steps to stop this?”