Official Languages Act to be implemented by Aug 15: CM

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnatik on Saturday hoped that the state government will implement Odisha Official Languages Act by August 15 this year.

“Odisha Official Languages Rules are in an advanced stage of formulation for better implementation of Odia language in transaction of official business. The Odisha Official Languages Act, 1954 is being suitably amended for the purpose. I am hopeful that by 15th of August, this shall be implemented,” Patnaik said while addressing the Council of Ministers to mark the completion of two years of the fourth term of the BJD government.

The chief minister said the state government had decided to set up “University of Odia Language and Literature’’ with an objective of teaching and research in Odia language and literature at post graduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels.

Besides, the state government has announced setting up of an “Odia Virtual Academy” in this year’s Budget and has formed a five-member advisory committee for the purpose, he added..

“Through this academy, the rich literary corpus of Odia language will be digitized and made available through its web-portal. The process of identifying Odia books for digitization is already on. The priceless masterpieces of Odia literature will be preserved for time immemorial. Generations to come in any part of the world will have access to these great literary works,” he pointed out.

Assuring that faculty positions in Odia in the universities and colleges in the state will be filled up on priority, Patnaik said schools of languages are being established and posts of Odia professors and other faculty members have been created in North Odisha University and Fakir Mohan University, through a government notification.

He said to encourage the Odia language, the state government has instituted “Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Senapati Scholarship for Odia Language” with a cash award of Rs 20,000 for students securing more than 90% in Odia at +2 and +3 level.

“Besides, efforts are on for creation of Odia Chairs in different reputed Universities outside Odisha like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University (DU), Banaras Hindu University (BHU) etc.. For Odia Chair in JNU, the budgetary provision has already been made,” he informed.

The chief minister further said the Odisha Sahitya Academy will accomplish several language and literature related publication and research programmes like sources of Odia language, epigraphy & archaeology, multi-dimensional lexicography, editing and compilation of ancient books and manuscripts, linguistics and grammar, translation, documentation and digitization, tribal language in Odisha and standard Odia language, collection of folk literature and research work on Odia language within the current financial year for which the government has provided Rs one crore in the current budget. The progress in the work will be closely reviewed, he added.

The chief minister also informed that the Odia Bhasa Pratisthan has proposed to come out with a new edition of Odia administrative glossary for which an expert team has been constituted. Besides, the Pratisthan has already started work on publication of Odia dialects, history of Odia language and publication of ancient manuscripts etc.