Legal Framework

The National Translation Mission, or the NTM is (to be) set up by an executive order of the Government, where the nodal agency will be the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), which has its headquarters in Mysore but with a liaison office in Delhi. This will obviously have its own advantage in terms of operation. However, it is open to review after the present plan period is over as to whether - after the programme is on a firm footing, it would be separated from the CIIL and established as an autonomous organization under the Societies Registration Act (1860, Central Act).

The management structure of the NTM has been planned to be a relatively small and flexible, and with a minimum infrastructure. As for the organizational structure of the NTM, it was initially proposed to have three layers:

  » Advisory Committee1 with members, headed by the Honb’le HRM.
  » Governing Board2(GB), headed by a Senior Scholar/Nominee of Ministry of HRD, which will meet often to monitor the progress of the scheme.
  » General Council3(GC) with 101 members, drawn out of the members – both institutional and individuals who are to be parts of the NTM.

However, it has now been decided to have only a Project Advisory Committee (NTM-PAC) which will provide guidance as well as act as a monitoring agency with 25 members. The Director, CIIL - as the nodal officer of the NTM - will be the Chair-person of the NTM-PAC. Until the Project Director, NTM is appointed, the work of the Mission should not stop, and hence the Academic secretary, CIIL should act as the Member-Secretary of the NTM-PAC. It will have three more ex-officio members - a nominee of Jt. Secretary (Languages), or Director (Languages), Department of Higher Education, MHRD, Government of India, a nominee of JS & FA, or IFD (HRD), and Chairman, Commission for Scientific & Technical Terminology (CSTT), New Delhi.

Besides these five, the other twenty members will be selected by the Ministry of HRD on rotational basis by nomination: (a) Two representatives from different university departments teaching translation, (b) Two representatives from different states (by rotation) – representing the institutes/academies of such states dealing with languages and translation, (c) One of the Vice-Chancellors of a language university, (d) Three from among the Booksellers and Publishers, (e) Secretary, Sahitya Akademi, (f) Director, National Book Trust (NBT), (g) Two representatives from different IITs/NITs/Industrial houses engaged in R&D in the area of Translation Tools/Technologies, (h) Five Translation Specialists from different Indian languages and English, (i) Two representatives from different disciplines, and (j) One from the private organizations/corporate houses or even private individuals with interest in translation activities.

Besides the above, the NTM would also have a number of Advisory Sub-Committees, or Working Groups, which will consist of individual consultants and experts in each category (such as Scientific translation, Technical Translation, Instant Translation / Interpretation, or Machine Translation, etc).

1. It was envisaged earlier that the Advisory Committee of the National Translation Mission would have 25 members as approved by the Ministry of HRD, and that this would be the apex decision-making body for the NTM

2. The plan was to draw up the members of this ‘Governing Board’ (GB) from different university departments teaching translation, institutes in different States devoted to translation in a major way, representatives from technical institutes, members of the publishing field, those engaged in development of translation tools and technologies from IITs, NITs, Industries etc, and also the official stakeholders in translation. It was suggested that the GB could have two members from different university departments teaching translation, two representing different State Governments (by rotation) – representing the institutes/academies of such states dealing with languages and translation, three members sent by the Booksellers and Publishers’ Guild, two from the IITs, NITs, Industries etc engaged in development of translation tools and technologies, and also the two official stakeholders in translation such as the NERT, NBT and Sahitya Akademi. It was thought that this body be so created as to reflect the public-private partnership model advocated by the National Knowledge Commission (NKC) & the Planning Commission. The members were planned to have a two-year term, with some ex-officio members (such as the nominees of the Ministry of HRD’s Jt Secretary (Languages) and Financial Advisor and the Chairman, CSTT). It was thought that after every two years, the Governing Board would be re-constituted by the HRD Ministry.

3. It was suggested that to start with the GC could have up to 101 members. The flow within the three-tier structure was thought to be such that the Governing Board (GB) would receive suggestions from a ‘General Council’ (GC). It was thought that the membership of the General Council (GC) of the society would consist of representatives from the Translation Industry, various Translation Associations, individual authors, lexicographers, and translators representing different pairs of languages, CSTT, Chair-persons/Directors/Secretaries of the National Book Trust (NBT), Sahitya Akademi, ICSSR, ICPR, etc., eminent academics from the Universities that offers courses on translation under other disciplines (Hindi/English/Linguistics/Comparative Literature etc) or M.A./M.Phil/PG-Diploma programmes in Translation Studies, specialists from different fields of knowledge already engaged in translation (like Law, Medicine, Physical Sciences, Biological Sciences, Social Sciences, Literature, Arts etc), preferably associated with reputed institutions. Besides the above, the different wings of the Government dealing with Indian languages and/or Translation from the Ministries of HRD, Culture, Home Affairs (including the Department of Official Languages), Information & Broadcasting, Communication & Information Technology, and External Affairs etc, could also find place in the General Council (GC) of the NTM.