The Ministry of Home Affairs has completed the Mother Tongue Survey of India (MTSI) with field videography of the country’s 576 languages.
It aims to conduct surveys of mother tongues that are returned consistently across 2 or more Census decades.
It also records the linguistic features of select languages.
The National Informatics Centre (NIC) and the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) is currently documenting and preserving the linguistic data of the surveyed mother tongues in video-audio files.
As per an analysis of 2011 linguistic census data, more than 19,500 languages or dialects are spoken in India as mother tongues.
These were grouped into 121 mother tongues after the census data underwent linguistic scrutiny, editing and rationalisation.
43.6 per cent of the population (52.8 crore people) declared Hindi to be their mother tongue.
The second highest spoken mother tongue is Bengali.
9.7 crore people or 8 per cent of the population speak the language.