Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 10:
The Odisha government is soon going to introduce a post-graduate programme in Classical Odia at the Utkal University of Culture, Culture and Tourism minister Ashok Panda said here on Thursday.
“The process has already begun for the opening of the PG Department of Classical Odia in the Utkal University of Culture,” Panda said.
The Union government has already approved setting up of a Centre of Excellence for the development of and further research on Odia after it got its classical language status.
The Department of Culture has initiated the process for setting up of the Centre and begun consultation with experts on this.
A meeting of Classical Odia Language Advisory Committee was presided over by Odisha Sahitya Academy (OSA) President Satakodi Hota here on Thursday.
Earlier, two experts’ committees were sent to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to study the functioning of Centre of Excellence in their respective states.
A committee comprising Dr Basant Kumar Panda, Bishnu Prasad Mishra and Ashwini Mishra had visited Tamil Nadu. Another committee consisting Prof Rajkishore Mishra, Dr Gourahari Das and Dr Kailash Chandra Tikayatray had gone to Karnataka.
The two committees had submitted their reports after studying the functioning of the Centres of Excellence in these two states.
The meeting discussed ways to bring the ‘Central Institute of Classical Odia’ at par with premier institutes in the country. The campus of Utkal University of Culture has been selected for the proposed Centre. The Culture Department is planning to open the Centre after shifting of the varsity to its permanent campus at Madanpur.
Alternatively, the Centre could come up in the city provided the General Administration department provides land for it in the capital city, sources said.
After the ‘Central Institute of Classical Odia’ got the Central nod, it was decided to set up a sub-committee to prepare a roadmap for the functioning of the organization.
According to sources, the Union government has approved two language chairs along with the Centre of Excellence. It has been decided to set up these chairs at Ravenshaw University and Sambalpur varsity.
Among others, Culture Secretary Arabinda Padhee, Sahitya Academy Secretary Ashwini Mishra, prominent linguist Devi Prasanna Pattnaik, writer Pratibha Ray, Bibhuti Patnaik, Shantanu Acharya, Gourahari Das, Kailash Tikayatray, Basanta Kumar Panda, Maheswar Mohanty and Gourang Charan Das were present on the occasion.
It may be recalled that Odia got the “classical language” status in 2014 after the Union Cabinet conceded a long-pending demand for putting it in the same league as Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. It was the sixth language to the accorded the classical tag.
Notably, the status helps to avail financial assistance for setting up a Centre of Excellence.