Tripura Government Allocates Rs 5,608 Crore for Development of Kokborok and Minority Languages: Minister Pranajit Singha Roy

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Posted in Featured, Northeast, Tripura
Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura

Agartala, January 19, 2024: In a significant move towards the holistic development of eight languages, including Kokborok, Chakma, Halam, Mog, Kuki, Mizo, Garo, Bishnupriya Manipuri, and Manipuri, the state government has allocated a total of Rs 5,608 crore in the budget for the fiscal year. The announcement was made by Finance Minister Pranajit Singha Roy during the 46th state-based Kokborok Language Day program held at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhawan here in Agartala city on Friday morning.

Addressing the chief guest, Finance Minister Pranajit Singha Roy stated that the state government is actively working on various initiatives to promote these minority languages. In collaboration with the World Bank, a financial assistance of Rs 1400 crore has been secured for multi-faceted programs aimed at the overall development of the people.

According to the 2011 census, the state is home to 11 lakh 66 thousand 813 people from diverse ethnic groups. The Finance Minister highlighted the commitment to the development of Kokborok and other minority languages, emphasizing the preparation of textbooks, expansion of language education in schools, promotion to higher classes, publication of literature booklets, seminars, teacher training, workshops, and ongoing research.

Expressing the importance of all languages, Finance Minister Pranajit Singha Roy mentioned that about 25 percent of the state’s population belongs to the Kokborok-speaking community. Presently, Kokborok and other minority languages are taught as subjects in 1,640 primary schools, 115 secondary schools, and 72 higher secondary schools. In 2022, an online Kokborok training course was launched for government employees, and a research grant of Rs 1 lakh is available for researchers.

The Finance Minister acknowledged the regular publication of literary magazines in Kokborok and other minority languages, along with the introduction of a PhD degree course in Kokborok language at Tripura Central University. He also highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiatives for tribal welfare and development.

Looking ahead, Kokborok will be introduced as a subject in 20 additional schools starting from the academic year 2024-25. An advisory committee, formed for the improvement of five other minority languages, including Kokborok, is actively working towards their enhancement.

In his speech, Kokborok Language Development Advisory Committee Chairman, Dr. Atul Debbarma, emphasized the government’s sincerity in the development and expansion of Kokborok language. MLA Rampada Jamatia, Vice Chairman of Kokborok Language Development Advisory Committee, urged the present generation to cherish and uphold their culture and language.

As part of the festivities, Finance Minister Pranajit Singha Roy unveiled the cover of the book ‘Taksatyari,’ while MLA Rampada Jamatia unveiled the cover of ‘Karam Keechak Himwatak.’ Special recognition was given to teachers Tarun Kumar Debbarma, Pritilata Debbarma, Pranati Reang, Dilip Manik Kalai, and Jagatpada Jamatia for their exceptional contributions to the development of Kokborok language.

The event, jointly organized by the Departments of Kokborok and other Minority Languages, the Center for Tribal Research and Culture, and the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, featured colorful cultural programs. The day concluded with a vibrant rally that saw participation from students, NCC cadets, community groups, artists, and literary figures, showcasing the rich cultural diversity of the state.

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