Pradeep Pattanayak

With the Odia University at Bakula Bana in Satyabadi of Puri district all set to open by June-end, Odia language is expected to witness a resurgence. 

On October 9, 2018, on the occasion of Pandit Gopabandhu Das’ birth anniversary, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik laid the foundation stone of this university at Bakula Bana in Satyabadi. It was then envisaged that the university would reflect the Satyabadi Bana Vidyalaya, set up by the Panchasakha. The Panchasakha or the quintet comprised of Pandit Gopabandhu Das, Acharya Harihar Das, Pandit Nilakantha Das, Krupasindhu Mishra and Godavarish Mishra. 

Their vidyalaya played a crucial role during the struggle for freedom as they taught patriotism. 

Now, the university spreading over 9.06 acres of land is ready for its academic activities. Facilities like academic block, administrative block, hostels for students as well as research scholars and cafeteria have come up. 

At a high-level meeting held on March 20, it was decided that the University will open for academic activities by June-end. According to a source, the Governor who is the chancellor of all universities will appoint the first VC on the recommendation of the State government. The first VC will be appointed with a tenure not exceeding two years.

Sources said, besides offering PG courses, the university will also facilitate research in Odia Language, Literature and Culture, conservation of tribal language and literature, and linguistics. 

According to scholars and research persons, the university heralds a new era in the Odia language. 

“The university will make a huge difference. With this university coming up, our students can give the all-India level administrative examinations in Odia. It is a great achievement,” said Pradyumna Satapathy, senior journalist and president of Bhasa Andolan.