Bhubaneswar: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) – Bhubaneswar, has directed its staff to compulsorily use Hindi as the mode of all official communication with immediate effect. Ironically, the directive comes on the eve of the International Mother Language Day.
An official order issued by the institute Thursday stated that all official letters hitherto issued bilingually under Section 3(3) of the Official Language Act, 1963, and issued only in Hindi under the OL Act – 1976 should, henceforward, be drafted compulsorily in Hindi only by the staff who are efficient in Hindi.
The order said employees who have just working knowledge of Hindi will try to draft letters in Hindi to the best of their ability. All regular employees in the hospital have been asked to carry out all official work only in Hindi with immediate effect.
Employees have been directed to use Hindi exclusively for certain things like signatures, file notings, while writing names and subheadings in registers and making entries.
Employees were asked to write at least 30 per cent of their notings and drafting in Hindi, write at least 55 per cent of all correspondence in Hindi, fill up all bi-lingual forms used in office in Hindi, reply to all letters in Hindi. Staff has also been directed to use Hindi in all discussions at administrative meetings and, as far as possible, prepare the minutes only in Hindi.
All officers in the administration, academic section, hospital administration, finance and accounts departments and heads of departments have been asked to do their work in Hindi only. Further, they have been directed to ensure that their staff members do their work in Hindi only as mandated under the OL Rules, 1976.
At the end of every quarter starting from January, details of the work done in different sections and departments will be dispatched to the Official Language Section so that a consolidated report can be sent to the ministry.
Responding to a query on what impact the circular will have, a doctor at AIIMS Bhubaneswar said, “I don’t know how it will work. It will be really confusing for the doctors to apply the order in their daily work as we have been using English while writing prescriptions and communicating with colleagues. This will also create problems in communicating with the patients, who prefer to converse in Odia.”
Dillip Dashsharma, president of Utkal Sammilani, said, “We oppose this decision because every language must be given respect and no one should force any language on anybody. Odia is also one of the classical languages and as per rules of the state government, all official letters, files and other work at government offices across Odisha must be in Odia.”