Bhubaneswar: All government letters, files and other official work at government offices across Odisha will be carried out in Odia from today.
Though it came rather late in the day, the implementation of the Odia Official Language Act-1954 after the rules under it were approved by the cabinet recently has fulfilled the long-standing demand of linguists, litterateurs and Odia language lovers across the State.
A committee headed by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi has been constituted to ensure mandatory use of the language in all Government work. The panel would review the use of the mother tongue every six months. On the other hand, a special language division would function under the General Administration (GA) department to see how the Act is being implemented.
Notably, the State Cabinet had on August 12 approved the rules under the Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Act, 2016. An ordinance for the implementation of the Act was approved in the Cabinet meeting held in the first week of August.
Meanwhile, linguists in the State have questioned the efficacy and actual implementation of the Act. Padmashri awardee noted linguist Debi Prasanna Patnaik said unlike Hindi and other regional languages in various States, no directorate, commission or body has been formed in Odisha to monitor the actual implementation of the rules.
“It would have been easy to implement the Government directive, if a regulatory Aayog with quasi judicial powers had been formed,” Patnaik said.
On the other hand, Bhasa Suraksha Sammilani convenor Baishnab Parida said the Government announcement on use of Odia as an official language is a biased step.