More than 800 languages or dialects, comprising 18 major language groups, are spoken in India. The constitution provides that the official language of the country is Hindi. However, it also accepts English as an associate language and approves its use for official purposes.
The other major languages are Assamese, Bengali, Gujrati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Sanskrit, the ancient language of Hindu scriptures is still widely studied in India and functions as a sacred and learned language.