The Human Resource Development Ministry is likely to make it mandatory for all goods and products sold in the country, irrespective of where they have been manufactured, to have labels and instructions in Hindi and the language of the state it is being sold in.
The recommendation is a part of the report finalised by the 17-member committee which was set up by the HRD ministry to suggest ways to promote Indian languages, the Indian Express reported.
The report - by committee headed by the former JNU pro vice-chancellor Kapil Kapoor - highlights the importance of supporting Indian languages in commerce and trade.
If accepted by the government, this recommendation would apply to brochures and operating manuals of all consumer goods including medicines and electronic equipment. Most products sold in India have labels and instructions only in English, which would be kept as optional if the plan is implemented.
Justifying the proposal, a committee member said such a step would create employment opportunity for translators. "Let's not forget that most of the trade in our country takes place in our languages. It's mainly the world of brands that we have to focus on. Many countries in the world do this. Take Japan, for instance. The packaging, labels, brochures of all their products are in their own language," the member told The Indian Express.
The committee is also learnt to have recommended a three-language policy for Centre-State communication.
The committee was set up on 22 December 2014. Former Delhi University professor and all-India president of Sanskrit Bharati Chand Kiran Saluja, IIT-BHU director Rajeev Sangal, IIM Bangalore professor B Mahadevan, director of the Vivekanand Kendra Institute of Culture, Guwahati, Deepak Kumar Barthakur and Tamil scholar D Gnanasundaram are among the panel members.