Why LIS-India

Now the century old Sir George Grierson's monumental Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) remains to date the only pan Indian survey giving descriptive account of the grammatical and other aspects of most of the Indian languages. In the post Independence period, there have been several other pan Indian surveys but limited in scope e.g. the survey of the written languages of India, dealing with the degree and modes of use by B.P. Mohapatra and G. D. McConnell; a survey of Indian languages and scripts as part of the People of India project on Indian communities by the Anthropological Survey of India under the leadership of Kumar Suresh Singh; a survey of English in India by Rama Kant Agnihotri and A.L Khanna, problematising the status of English in India; and some regional surveys such as the linguistic survey of the Punjab by Harjeet Singh Gill, dealing with dialect variation in Punjabi; Dialect survey of Marathi by A. M. Ghatge of the Deccan College, Pune; a survey of language use in Himachal Pradesh by the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, under the leadership of Bal Gobind Misra and H.R. Dua; an encyclopedic survey of the Dravidian languages by the International School of Dravidian Languages, under the leadership of V. I. Subramoniam; etc. apart from the numerous studies of various kind on many of the specific Indian languages in pre and post Independence period in India and abroad. Grierson's LSI, though monumental is, nevertheless, often found partial, inadequate and outdated in terms of coverage and content. A replication of the Survey, a dire need though, in the changed circumstances at the beginning of this new millennium, would mean an entirely new enterprise in form, method and content. Language Information Services (LIS)-India, a major Project of the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) started under the country's X Plan is envisaged to meet this need. Taking advantage of the fairly vast pool of linguistics expert human resources developed over the decades in the country, advances in knowledge and the developments of digital technology, it is envisaged as a national, ongoing and a cumulative process as compared to once in a period of time phenomenon. LIS-India is development, and not surveillance, oriented.

CIIL-India Mysore