A while ago, the government had initiated the “Scheme for Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India’ (SPPEL), taken care of by the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) which is established in Mysore. The primary focus of the scheme is to protect, preserve and document all the mother tongues/languages of India which are spoken by less than 10,000 people. This programme also cover dialects which are a part of a language.
Another organ of the government, the University Grants Commission (UGC), has implemented a for “Establishment of Centres for Endangered Languages”, and all centres approved in respect of nine Central Universities come under its umbrella. The commission is also carrying out another scheme- “Funding support to the State Universities for study and research in indigenous and endangered language in India’’, and in its respect, seven Universities were approved for grants. Moreover, a collaborative project is being carried out between Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda and BHASA, a non-governmental organisation to promote and preserve indigenous and endangered languages approved by the commission.
The information on these schemes have been provided by the Minister of State (HRD), Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey in reply to a Lok Sabha question though a written document.
A while ago, the Ministry even stood opposing the PMO over the recommendation of merging several language institutions together. The ministry, as the sources say, believes that the mandate of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) and ICSSR is not on the same course and hence, their ability to cater to different purposes will dilute, also dissolving the motive for which each of the autonomous organisations was originally established. To NITI Aayog’s alternative suggestion to merge the ICHR and ICPR with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) too, the ministry shows a big ‘no-no’.