Special Officer for Linguistic Minorities

Special  Officer for  Linguistic  Minorities

  • 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 of India
    • 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 integration
  • 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 / UTs
  • To handle the representations for redress of grievances related to the safeguards for linguistic minorities”

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