Johannesburg: Despite being the second most spoken language in the world, Hindi is yet to be adopted as an official language of the UN, and Indian government should launch time-bound efforts to make this happen, scholars from the around the world said on Monday.

At the ninth World Hindi Conference where the doyens and lovers of the language assembled to discuss its status, the delegates pointed out that they had passed a series of resolutions in this regard over the years but to no avail.

The conference passed a resolution for the fifth time on Monday seeking an official UN language status for Hindi. Similar resolutions have been passed at four past conferences.

Through the resolution, the scholars appealed to the Indian government to set a deadline and initiate time-bound measures in this direction.

Among other important points raised is the proposal for the Mauritius-based World Hindi Secretariat to prepare a comprehensive source centre of database that links universities, schools and centres of Hindi education in different countries.

"The Secretariat should also prepare a database of Hindi scholars, writers and people related to its propagation world over," the resolution said.

On a day when 19 Indian writers and 22 foreigners were honoured for their contribution to Hindi, it was also decided that the next conference would be held in India, and a World Hindi Honour will be instituted to be conferred on people who have made important contributions for the propagation of the language.

The resolution also said that there should not be an interval of more than three years between two conferences. Highlighting the importance of translation, scholars discussing and debating the status of Hindi in today's time and its globalisation, stressed the need for research to adapt the language to modern information technology devices.

India, a multilingual country, pegs its population of Hindi-speaking states at over 46 crore. According to 2011 census, 41.03 per cent of its 1.2 billion population have Hindi as their mother-tongue. If taken into account people for whom Hindi is their second language, 75 per cent of India's total population speaks the language.     

The number of people who can speak Hindi is estimated to be around 80 crore across the world. A good number of people in Nepal, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Uganda, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada speak Hindi.



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