Indian writers have appropriated English as an Indian language, and that gives a certain freshness to the way we write - Vikas Swarup

The history of Indian languages dates back to many centuries. Owing to the diversity of India culture, the people of this country have adopted many different languages based on their regional culture. So, you will find not one, but many official languages India. When it comes to English, it is the second most widely spoken language in the country after Hindi. That is not surprising. After all, English is a global language - it is the language of business, education, the Internet, travel, etc. Thanks to the exchange of global cultures, English has come to assume a very important space in not just Indian languages but other cultures too.

In a country of more than a billion, you will find more than a million people speaking in English in India to communicate with each other. Think of your own situation - what is the language you automatically speak when you step out of your regional boundaries? It's either Hindi or English; not Tamil or Bengali. The coming of the British to India back in the 18th century left its mark on every aspect of the Indian culture. And the number of English speakers in the country today is a testament to that.

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Importance of English As A Global Language

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English has gradually come to occupy a very important position in Indian languages | Image Source: edusoftlearning.com

English is not just a language. It is a way of life of over a million people across the world. The importance of English cannot be emphasized enough.

Spread of Information Through English

English, as a language, has a wide presence in the world. This helps in easy exchange of information, which eventually helps in the worldwide dissemination of information through news articles, the Internet, journals, etc. Most journals are also written in English for easy access and comprehension. And if they are not, they are eventually translated into English.

English for Economic Growth

The adoption of English as a primary or secondary language in most countries has helped in ease of doing business. Take the case of India for instance - you go to any business meeting or take business documents, for example - the medium is English. Even IAS general knowledge also has English as a main exam component. So, you see, in order to progress, you need to be well-versed not just in local dialects like Marathi or Urdu, but English as well.

English Has Helped Spread Technology

The English language has turned out to be a blessing for technological advancement. Most tech devices like mobile phones or laptops have English commands. Codes are written in English and so are scientific journals. This has ripple effects in all sorts of work domains including medicine, healthcare, business, trade, sports, and others.

Is English One of the Official Languages India?

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English is one of the official languages India | Image Source: IndiaMART

You'd be surprised to know that India has no national language. Each state or Union Territory has their own official language. There is, however, Article 343(1) in the Constitution of India that states that Hindi in the Devanagari script will be adopted as the official language of the Union. But this is not transacted in practice, although most state transactions are carried out in Hindi or English. For example, most parliamentary proceedings are carried out in English or Hindi and so are communications between the states and the Center. The British official languages India were Hindi, English, and Urdu and English was, for obvious reasons, the main language of communication at the Center.

All Indian states have the power and liberty to adopt their own official language. In addition to these, the Constitution has enlisted 22 regional languages as scheduled languages:

  1. Assamese
  2. Bengali
  3. Bodo
  4. Dogri
  5. Gujarati
  6. Hindi
  7. Kannada
  8. Kashmiri
  9. Konkani
  10. Maithili
  11. Malayalam
  12. Manipuri
  13. Marathi
  14. Nepali
  15. Odia
  16. Punjabi
  17. Sanskrit
  18. Santali
  19. Sindhi
  20. Tamil
  21. Telugu
  22. Urdu
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Why is English Important to Learn in India?

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English is strongly embedded in India culture | Image Source: tutordoctormiami.com

According to the 2011 census, an estimated 250,000 people in India speak English as their mother tongue. The numbers are much higher for those who use spoken English as a medium to communicate otherwise. There is distinct Indo touch to the English spoken by native Indians which is different from native English accent.

Importance of Spoken English in India

More than good writing skills, for Indians it is very important to know how to speak good English. And that is the primary reason behind why is English important to learn in India. Here are the top reasons why you should learn English in India:

  • Knowledge of English will open up new job opportunities both in India and outside.
  • You can travel anywhere in the world with ease if you have basic skills in spoken English.
  • English is the major language in most educational institutions in India.
  • Science and technology ride on the English language.
  • English is the language of the Internet and the latter is the lifeline of everyone in the world today.
  • English is still one of the (un)official languages India.

English - A Core Component of IAS General Knowledge

Exam Prep

There is no secret to success: don't waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence - Anonymous

It is true that you can choose your preferred language for the IAS Main Exam as per the UPSC (Union Public Service Commission) guidelines. But you still need to crack the compulsory English language paper to qualify. Additionally, good spoken English skills are a must to score points during the final interview.

5 Ways to Prepare for IAS General Knowledge

1. Read Newspapers Daily

Any IAS aspirant will tell you this one common thing - that they read the papers daily. Especially the editorials. There is no better and easier way to learn new words and improve your English language skills than this. It helps you perfect the use words and grammar in sentence construction.

2. Write in English

Be it letters to a friend or a note to self - writing in any language improves your command over the same. Choose any topic of your liking and just write. If you can, get it checked by someone who can give you constructive feedback to improve.

3. Practice Spoken English

Find a friend, preferably a native English speaker, to practice and hone your spoken English skills. The good part of all Indian languages is that you will find a lot of people to practice them with.

4. Practice Concise & Articulate Writing

Get into the habit of writing at least 100 words daily. Be it an essay or just a list of words to test your vocabulary. But do it as a daily practice.

5. Make Learning Fun

If you are a movie buff or like binge watch Netflix, then turn that into a learning exercise. Write down new words that you learn and perfect your accent while speaking English to make a good impression during your interview.

Learn English for Career Advancement

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A million people can't be wrong in placing so much importance on English for career growth | Image Source: outlookindia.com

Do English speakers stand a better chance of career advancement more quickly? The answer is YES. As long as your skillsets match, speaking English as against local Tamil or Bengali or Dravidian or Urdu alone, can increase your chances of getting promoted to higher positions at your job.

How Can English Help You Professionally?

A few million people all over the world speak English. This means most businesses use English as the main language for communications. Of all the Indian languages, English is the one that is most widely spoken in the corporate and social sectors which make up almost two-thirds of the working population in the country. Needless to say, India culture rides on the English language.

Top Reasons to Learn English As One of The Official Languages India

  1. Many industries including aviation and hospitality recommend English as the primary language for communication. Most jobs in these sectors look for people who have good command over the language.
  2. Industries like sales, administration, retail. tourism, banking, and law prefer English language skills as a top parameter in selecting candidates for different job roles.
  3. Good spoken English skills can enhance your communication and presentation expertise manifold. This can help you surpass your competition at the workplace.
  4. Studying English as a core language course can make you stand out from the crowd in an increasingly global business environment.
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Pragnajyoti

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