Originally, the Constitution of India did not make any provision with respect to the Special
Officer for Linguistic Minorities.
Later, the States
Reorganisation Commission (1953-55) made a recommendation in this regard.
Accordingly, the Seventh
Constitutional Amendment Act of 1956 inserted a new Article
350-B in Part XVII of the Constitution.This article contains the following provisions
There should be a Special
Officer for Linguistic Minorities. He is to be appointed by the President
It would be the duty of the
Special Officer to investigate all matters relating to the safeguards
provided for linguistic minorities under the Constitution
He would report to the
President upon those matters at such intervals as the President may
direct. The President should place all such reports before each House of
Parliament and send to the governments of the states concerned.
Constitution does not specify the qualifications, tenure, salaries and allowances, service conditions and procedure for removal of the Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities.
Commissioner of Linguistic Minorities
In pursuance of the provisions
of Article 350-B of the Constitution, Office of Special Officer for
Linguistic Minorities was created in 1957. He is designated as the
Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities.
Commissioner has his
headquarters at Allahabad (Uttar
Pradesh). He has
three regional offices at Belgaum (Karnataka), Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and
Kolkata (West Bengal). Each is headed by an Assistant Commissioner.
Commissioner is assisted at
headquarters by Deputy Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner. He
maintains liaison with the State Governments and Union Territories through
nodal officers appointed by them.
At the Central level, the
Commissioner falls under the Ministry of
Minority Affairs. Hence,
he submits the annual reports or other reports
to the President through the Union Minority Affairs Minister
To investigate all matters
related to safeguards provided to the linguistic minorities
To submit to the President of
India, the reports on the status of implementation of the Constitutional
and the nationally agreed safeguards for the linguistic minorities
To monitor the implementation
of safeguards through questionnaires, visits, conferences, seminars,
meetings, review mechanism, etc
To provide equal opportunities
to the linguistic minorities for inclusive development and national
To spread awareness amongst
the linguistic minorities about the safeguards available to them
To ensure effective
implementation of the safeguards provided for the linguistic minorities in
the Constitution and other safeguards, which are agreed to by the States /
To handle the representations
for redress of grievances related to the safeguards for linguistic