Third Edition of Indian Sign Language dictionary to be released

The ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment will release the third edition of the Indian Sign Language (ISL) Dictionary on February 17, 2021. The new edition will comprise of 10,000 terms of daily. It will also include the academic, legal, medical technical, administrative and agricultural terms in it.


The second edition of the Indian Sign language was released in the year 2019. It comprised of 6,000 terms while its first edition was released in the year 2018 with 3,000 terms.

Significance of the launch

The launch of the ISL dictionary is a step towards fulfilling needs of hearing and speech impaired in accordance with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016. It also complies with the initiative by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called “Accessible Digital Textbooks for All”. The ISL will be essential in enhancing the vocabulary and the capabilities to understand concepts of the impaired.

What is Indian Sign Language (ISL)?

It is a set of hand and facial gestures that is used to communicate. It is commonly used by the hearing and speech impaired. The ISL has its own grammar, syntax and regional dialects. It comprises of different gestures for same word or sentiment. The sign language is a recognized official language in many countries including USA.

Impairing in India

The World Health Organization (WHO) report states that, prevalence of hearing impairment in India is around 6.3% as of 2018. It means around 63 million people are suffering from auditory loss. Further, the adult-onset deafness in India accounts for 7.6% while the childhood-onset deafness accounts for 2%.

Government initiatives to prevent disability

  1. The government had started the accessibility of news and educational videos by incorporating sign language or written text subtitles and transcripts.
  2. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPWD) Act, 2016 was passed to Include provisions for hearing impaired.
  3. New Education Policy, 2020 also contain provisions of universalization of education for all including the disabled with 100% Gross Enrolment ratio from preschool to secondary level by 2030.
  4. National Program for Prevention and Control of Deafness (NPPCD) was launched in 2006 to tackle high incidence of deafness.




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