Govt Says No to Make ISL Official

Government releases ISL dictionary but has no plans to declare ISL an official language. A severe shortage of trained interpreters and the lack of courses for learning ISL has complicated matters for

The ISLRTC released an ISL Dictionary with 6,000 words. Words from different categories such as academic, legal, medical and everyday words have been included. This dictionary is also available on SLRTC YouTube channel. Around 1,000 videos have been uploaded with subtitles. This will help ISL teachers, ISL learners, interpreters, deaf children and researchers.  

Many from the Deaf community are not satisfied and have demanded the government to make Indian Sign Language “official”. The Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment is Thawar Chand Gehlot. He said right now, the government is not planning to make ISL official.He said that government does not have enough interpreters and trainers to make it a widely used medium of communication.

As per the census 2011, there are 50, 71,007 deaf people and 19, 98,535 with speech disability in India.There are only 325 interpreters registered with the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Centre (ISLRTC).  

The ISLRTC has courses to train interpreters. These courses allow only 15 students per batch. In 2018-2019, only 45 students completed the course. There is a severe shortage of trained interpreters in India. From this year the ISLRTC is starting a 2 year Diploma in teaching Sign Language. The ISLRTC aims to create more individuals trained in ISL.

National Association of Deaf (NAD) president AS Narayanan, said that the Social Justice department has to work towards making ISL an official language.