Bhubaneswar: Almost 61 years after passing of the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954 in the Assembly, the state government today implemented the legislation with the cabinet approving the rules for the purpose.
“The Odisha Official Language Rules, 2016 for successful implementation of the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954 got the state cabinet nod today. With this, the Act came to the force from today,” Chief Secretary A P Padhi told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
Padhi said four days ago on August 8, 2016, the cabinet had allowed the state government to frame rules for proper implementation of the Act.
Stating that the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954, Padhi said Odia should be the official language of the state.
Odisha Governor S C Jamir had promulgated the Ordinance as Odisha Official Language (Amendment Act), 2016, which was published in the Odisha Gazette on May 21.
As per the rule of the Act, a language division would function under the general administration department. The division would see how the Act was being implemented.
This apart, a committee headed by the Chief Secretary and having members as secretaries of information and public relations, general administration, school and mass education and higher education, would also be in place.
The special secretary of the general administration department would function as the member conveor of the committee which would meet at least twice in a year to review the process of implementation of the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954, Padhi said.
Replying to a question, he said both the language division and the committee would be formed immediately today and letters being received in Odia language by the government would be replied in the language of the state from the next working day on August 16.
In another related development, the state cabinet also approved a proposal to establish a unitary Odia Language and Literature University.
The varsity would be established in Bhubaneswar for furthering the advancement of learning and prosecution of research in Odia at the Post Graduate level on different areas of Odia literature, Odia language, linguistics, comparative literature, Odia criticism. antique, ancient record, evolution of Odia language scripts, history scripts, tribal language study, regional language study, epigraphy, archaeology and museology and translation into and from Odia, said higher education secretary G V V Sarma.