Ol Chiki script – UPSC Prelims

Ol Chiki Script:
  • The Ol Chiki script, also known as Ol Chemetʼ, Ol Ciki, Ol, and sometimes as the Santali alphabet, is the official writing system for Santhali, an Austroasiatic language recognized as an official regional language in India.
  • India’s Constitution has been translated into Ol Chiki script for the first time.
  • Significance: The Constitution of India has special provisions for the development of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, and the translation has been useful in providing a deeper understanding of laws, powers and the community’s fundamental rights for readers like Hembram. (Hembram is a surname which is commonly used among the Santhal tribals).
When was the Santali Language added to the Constitution of India?
  • In 2003, the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act added Santhali to Schedule VIII to the Constitution of India, which lists the official languages of India, along with the Bodo, Dogri and Maithili languages.
  • This addition meant that the Indian government was obligated to undertake the development of the Santali language and to allow students appearing for school-level examinations and entrance examinations for public service jobs to use the language.
Population of Santhal People:
  • According to the 2011 Census of India, there are over 70 lakh people who speak Santali across the country.
  • But their geographic distribution is not limited to India — the community is also spread across Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
  • Santhals are the largest scheduled tribe in the Jharkhand state of India in terms of population and are also found in the states of Assam, Tripura, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal.
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