Puri: The Odisha Cabinet today took a slew of decisions for promotion and enrichment of Odia language.
The cabinet meeting, which was held at the Circuit House here being the first meeting of the cabinet outside the State Secretariat in Bhubaneswar, approved the proposal for separation of Culture Department from Tourism & Culture Department and formation of a new department namely ‘Odia Language, Literature and Culture Department’.
Besides, a proposal for formation of ‘Heritage Cabinet’ also got the cabinet nod.
Other important proposals which got the approval of the cabinet are:
* Amendment in the Official Language Act-1954 for mandatory use of Odia language in all official and administrative work across Odisha from March 1, 2018. Appropriate legal action will be initiated against officials for violating the Act.
* Amendment in the Odisha Shop & Commercial Establishment Act-1956. Odia signage for commercial establishments will be made compulsory. Action will be taken against the violators.
* ‘Biswa Odia Bhasa Sammilani’ (World Odia Language Summit) will be held every five years.
* No fees for students opting for Odia courses in graduation and post-graduation in colleges and universities, respectively.
* Relaxation of criteria for Byasa Kabi Fakir Mohan Scholarship. It will be provided to students securing good marks in Odia subject in +2 and +3.
* Seats for Ph.D in Odia will be increased and if necessary, number of teaching staff for the subject will be hiked.
* Public library featuring notable Odia books will be established in all the districts of Odisha. The libraries will be converted into smart libraries.
* Libraries will be set up at all high schools where award winning Odia books will be kept for reading.
* Formation of Odia language Commission for promotion and preservation of the language.
* All state government functions will be conducted in Odia language.
* Incentives for research in Odia literature. Awards for research, Odia blogs, Odia websites and others.
* For non-resident Odias, an Odia Virtual Academy will be set up that will promote the Odia language, literature and culture across the world.