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Thursday, August 12, 2010 05:13:24 AM, Agencies

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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna today said in the Parliament that efforts are underway to make Hindi an official language of the United Nations.


"We are taking active measures to make Hindi an official language at UN. A high level committee is looking into it," IANS quoted Krishna as saying in the Rajya Sabha.


Krishna was replying to a supplementary question in the Upper House.


Denying that any financial constraints were blocking the way for pushing the issue, Krishna said India was consistently lobbying with other countries to seek their support in backing Hindi as an official language in UN.


"It is not a question of expenditure. We will have to get majority in numbers," he said.

Stating that the efforts being made by India were emerging fruitful, Krishna said UN is producing a weekly programme in Hindi which is available on the organisation's website and also broadcast on All India Radio.


At the same time Krishna urged the Non-resident Indians to come forward to press the cause. 


Procedurally, the UN General Assembly (the legislative body of the UN) would need to adopt a resolution by a majority of the 192 member states. After this stage, India, as the proposing country, would need to provide sufficient financial resources to the UN to cover the additional expenditure related to interpretation, translation, printing and duplication of documents and related infrastructural costs. This, according to conservative estimates, could cost in excess of US $ 14 million per year, he informed.


Adding another official language also entails a significant increase in the budget of the UN (personnel, equipment, and other recurring costs). All member states have to proportionately bear a share of this reapportioned payment. Member states have generally been reluctant to support proposals that have an additional financial burden.


He informed that nine World Hindi Conferences have been organized so far by the Government of India, the latest of which was held on 8 January 2010. These Conferences call upon NRIs and overseas Indians to assist in the promotion and propagation of Hindi language and literature abroad.

In addition, a World Hindi Secretariat has been set up in Mauritius since 11 February 2008 to promote Hindi as an international language. Financial and administrative support for the secretariat is provided by the governments of India and Mauritius.





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