Proficiency in Hindi can now earn central government employees up to Rs 10,000 each in prize money if they score at least 70 per cent marks in the examination conducted at the completion of the 'Parangat' course introduced by the Narendra Modi government last year to promote use of the official language among bureaucrats.
The home ministry, in a letter to all central ministries on Wednesday, proposed the payout as "encouragement" for employees undertaking the government's toughest Hindi proficiency course. The ministry proposed that the employees scoring 60-69 per cent marks be paid Rs 8,000 while those securing 55-59 per cent marks be paid Rs 6,000.
The government had introduced the 160-hour course in April 2015 after it found that many officers were unable to carry out official work in Hindi despite passing training courses offered by the Centre such as Prabodh, Praveen and Pragya. The higher-level Parangat course is mainly based on practice, with as much as 80 per cent of the time scheduled for practice while the rest is kept aside for discussing theoretical aspects.
In its letter, a copy of which has been seen by ET, the home ministry said that the ministries and departments to which the high-scoring employees belong will bear the expense from their own administrative budget and asked for their comments by March 10.
Officials said the total payout could be significant since all central government employees possessing "working knowledge of Hindi" are supposed to undertake the Parangat course in batches.
The course includes topics such as administration, finance, banking, science and technology, and glossary of terms.
Employees are given a choice of completing the course in one go over 20 days and 160 hours of training or over five months with a one-hour training on alternate day