In a bid to promote studies and research in Odia language at the national level, the Odisha government on Sunday inked an MoU with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, to set up Biju Patnaik Special Centre for Odia studies at JNU.
Commissioner-cum-secretary of the Higher Education Department Aravind Agrawal and Vice Chancellor of JNU Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit signed the MOU in the presence of Higher Education Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak at Lok Seva Bhawan.
The proposed Biju Patnaik Special Centre is aimed at delving into the leadership, governance, and contributions of the Bhoomiputra of Indonesia and the former Chief Minister of Odisha Biju Patnaik.
The Centre has planned to initiate a Master's Programme covering various facets of Odia Studies, to cement cultural bonds with the Odia diaspora, apart from promoting contemporary Odia literature and art.
At the MoU signing ceremony, Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena, Development Commissioner -cum-ACS Anu Garg, Commissioner -cum -Secretary of OLLC Sujata R. Karthikeyan and Prof Udaynath Sahu from Adikabi Sarala Das Chair, JNU, were present.
The Centre will lay focus on international teaching and research in Odia language and literature, apart from exploring historical maritime linkages of the erstwhile Kalinga empire with Southeast Asia, Odia diaspora connections and promoting contemporary Odia culture through publications and collaborative research.