Directive regarding Terminology in Presidential Order of April 1960
- Official Language Commission and Parliamentary Committee
In mid 1955 the Government of India appointed the Official Language Commission with Shri B.G. Kher as Chairman. The Commission submitted its report to the President in July 1956 Chapter V of the Report (pp. 56-61, covering some 21 per cent of the total number of pages) deals with the problem of scientific and technical terminology. The report of the Commission was examined by a Committee of the Parliament, and the President's Order was issued in April, 1960. The portion dealing specifically with terminology reads:
"The main recommendations of the Commission which the Committee (of Parliament) has accepted are: (i) in preparing terminology, clarity, precision and simplicity should be primarily aimed at; (ii) international terminology may be adopted or adapted in suitable cases; (iii) the maximum possible identity should be aimed at in evolving terminology for all Indian languages; and (iv) suitable arrangements should be made for co-ordinating the efforts made at the Centre and in the States for evolving terminology in Hindi and other Indian languages. The Committee envisages further that in the field of science and technology, there should, as far as possible, be uniformity in all Indian languages and the terminology should approximately closely to English or international terms and has suggested that a Standing Commission consisting chiefly of scientists and technologists may be constituted to co-ordinate and supervise the work done by various agencies in this field and to issue authoritative glossaries for use in all Indian languages.""The Ministry of Education may take action:
- To review the work done so far and to evolve terminology in accordance with the general principles accepted by the Committee. In the field of science and technology, the terms in international use should be adopted with the minimum change, i.e., the base-words should be those at present in use in international terminology, although the derivatives may be Indianised to the extent necessary;
- To formulate proposals for making arrangements for co-ordination of the work of preparation of terminology; and
- To constitute a Standing Commission for the evolution of scientific and technical terminology as suggested by the Committee."
The reference in the above order to the terminology work done so far relates to the work on Hindi scientific terminology done by the Hindi Section in the Ministry, assisted by many expert Committees, under the general direction of the Board of Scientific Terminology set up by the Ministry of Education in December, 1950.
- Terms of Reference of the Board of Scientific Terminology
The terms of reference of the Board of Scientific Terminology, and the principles laid down by the Board to guide the terminology work, are:
- To implement the resolution of the Central Advisory Board of Education in regard to adoption of international scientific and technical terms in Hindi and in the principal literary languages of India.
- To lay down the principles according to with the international terms may be adopted to the genius of Indian languages.
- To make arrangement for the collection of terms current in Indian languages and for coining suitable terms on the basis of Indian languages for branches of knowledge where use of foreign terms may not be suitable.
- To determine and carry out the policy regarding preparation of standard books on scientific subject
Principles laid down by the Board of Scientific Terminology
- By international terminology is meant the scientific and technical terms given in the Proceedings of the International Council of Scientific Unions from time to time.
- The Board endorses views of the University Commission and the Central Advisory Board of Education that, as far as possible, international scientific and technical terms should be used in all books written in Hindi and other principal languages of India. International terms in Geology, Zoology and Botany should be adopted as such.
- The symbols, signs and formulae use in Mathematics and other sciences should be adopted without modifications, that is, letters and figures of the Roman alphabet should be used in Hindi.
- In preparing dictionaries of scientific terminology, the transliteration of the international terms should be given in Devanagari, and then the original in Roman Script in brackets. Wherever necessary, a translation and explanation of the terms will also be given.
A scientific terminology in Hindi up to the Higher Secondary School Standard has already been approved by the Board, and published by the Ministry of Education. Preparation of terminology for use at the University stage (Degree Standard) of education is in progress.