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Saswat Singhdeo

Puri: The State government decided to establish Odia University at 'Bakula Bana' under Satyabadi block in  Puri during a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Secretariat yesterday.

Keeping in view the environment as well as the heritage of 'Bakula Bana', no trees will be cut down during the foundation stone laying of the one-storey building which will be constructed using sandstone.

An official release issued by the Chief Minister's Office said an officer on special duty (OSD) will soon be appointed and the temporary office of the varsity will function from Pantha Niwas at Satyabadi.

Earlier, the state government had proposed a budget of Rs 10 crore to be spent for establishment of the varsity. At least 25-acres of land have also been earmarked for the purpose.

The proposed varsity would offer post graduate courses in Odia language and literature. It would also facilitate research activities on literary criticism, evolution of East Indian language scripts, historical scripts, archaeology and translation into and from Odia.

Five iconic leaders of Odisha Pandit Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, Pandit Krupasindhu Mishra, Acharya Harihar Das, Pandit Godavarish Mishra and Pandit Nilakantha Das had founded the unique education system at the Bakul Bana with students being taught in natural environment.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Narasingha Mishra has opposed the construction of the university saying that it will lose its identity.

“It is a historic place and it will no more be the same Bakula Bana which means name of Gopabandhu Das name will not be associated with it anymore,” Mishra said.

Responding to Mishra’s comment, Higher Education Minister Anant Das said,“The university at Bakula Bana will be a fitting tribute to Gopabandhu Das and it will only help to spread his fame.”

(With PTI inputs)

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