Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated the new campus of the Odia University at Satyabadi in Puri district through virtual mode on Wednesday.
The university campus houses an administrative building, classrooms, two hostel buildings, and an eatery. As many as 180 students are currently admitted to the university. The inaugural ceremony was attended by the Vice Chancellor, lecturers and students.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said, “Satyabadi was the karmabhoomi (workplace) of Utkalmani Gopabandhu. I am extremely happy to unveil the Odia University at the place. I congratulate the students of the university on this occasion.”
He also observed that there is a need for impetus to create good literary works based on our culture and traditions.
Patnaik described Satyabadi as the shrine of Odia literary renaissance and said that Utkalamani Gopabandhu Das chose it as his workplace. He also paid respects to the sons of the soil who immensely contributed to the Odia language.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticized the state government for 'hurriedly' inaugurating the Odia University ahead of the upcoming elections.
Addressing a presser, BJP leader Ramaranjan Baliarsingh said, “We welcome the establishment of the Odia University and do not oppose it. But as an Odia, a local resident, and a former people’s representative, I am hurt by how the university was hurriedly inaugurated ahead of the World Odia Sammilani in February.”
BJD leader Bhupinder Singh countered it, saying, “If we consider ourselves as true Odias, we should first welcome the establishment of the Odia University. How many universities in the country have been set up exclusively for languages?”