No progress in establishment of Odia Language University

Puri: It’s been four months since the Odisha government announced the proposal to set up State’s first Odia language university in Puri district, but work on the project is yet to begin.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the birth anniversary of Utkalmani Gopabandhu on October 9 last year had laid the foundation stone for the university at Bakula Bana in Satyabadi area of Puri, a pre-independence learning centre set up by five iconic leaders of Odisha, popularly known as the Pancha Sakha and include Gopabandhu, Acharya Harihar, and Pandit Nilakantha Das among others.

The State government had earmarked Rs 35 crore for acquisition of 29-acre land from the land bank of Lord Gopinath for setting up the institution. But even after four months, neither funds have been allocated, nor has the work started. A committee set up to oversee the establishment of the university has expressed displeasure over the delay and has urged the government to expedite the process.

Satyabadi Das, member of the Odia Language University Action Committee said, “Intellectuals and students will be benefitted immensely from the varsity and it is really disappointing that no progress has been made.”

“The funds allocated by the government will be saved as a corpus fund of Lord Gopinath and will be used for the development of the trust and religious purposes. The government had only discussed the matter with us but there has been no progress besides that,” said Dibakar Mohapatra, member of the Lord Gopinath Deb Trust.

It may be mentioned that the proposed varsity would offer post graduate courses in Odia language and literature, besides research in literary criticism, Indian language scripts, archaeology and translation of scripts to and from Odia.