Most of the States have a dominant language which is spoken by majority of the people which is called as regional language. All those who do not speak the Regional Language belong to linguistic minorities.
Three different kinds of linguistic minorities could be identified in India and they are:
• Linguistic minorities
• Linguistic minorities with tribal affiliation
• Linguistic minorities with religious affiliation
About 36.3 million of India’s 1.2 billion strong population (Census 2011) speak an “absolute minority language”, a language which in every of India’s 28 States forms a minority. Most of those languages are Adivasi languages.
Safeguards for Linguistic Minorities are:
• Translation and publication of important rules, regulations, notices, etc., into all languages, which are spoken by at least 15% of the total population at district or sub-district level.
• Declaration of minority languages as second official language in districts where persons speaking such languages constitute 60% or more of the population.
• Receipt of, and reply to, representations in minority languages; scheme of safeguards.
• Instruction through mother tongues/ minority languages at the Primary stage of education.
• Instruction through minority languages at the Secondary stage of education.
• Advance registration of linguistic preference of linguistic minority pupils, and inter-school adjustments.
• Provision for text books and teachers in minority languages; scheme of safeguards.
• Implementation of Three-language Formula.
• No insistence upon knowledge of State’s Official Language at the time of recruitment. Test of proficiency in the State’s Official Language to be held before completion of probation.
• Issue of Pamphlets in minority languages detailing safeguards available to linguistic minorities.
• Setting up of proper machinery at the State and district levels.
The Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore, a subordinate office of the Ministry of Human Resource Development is implementing a scheme for preservation and protection of languages spoken by less than 10000 people. Under the scheme, grammatical descriptions, monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, language primers, anthologies of folklore, encyclopedias, etc of all the endangered languages / mother tongues, especially those spoken by less than 10000 persons are prepared.