Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 22:
The Odisha government clearly has no desire to uphold the pride of the state, which is evident in its complete lack of seriousness in setting up of an Odia Chair in the prestigious Jawaharal Nehru University (JNU) in the national capital.
The JNU authorities have proposed to the state government setting up of an Odia chair with a one-time contribution of Rs 4 crore so that the management of the Chair can be done with the interest of the deposited amount.
Surprisingly, the state government has shown no interest whatsoever in the last three years to deposit the said amount as asked for by the JNU authorities.
It may be mentioned that the JNU authorities, in a letter to the then Odisha chief secretary on May 8, 2012, had proposed the setting up of an Odia Chair so that the students get the opportunity to study Odia language, literature and culture. Besides, the Odisha students would get exposure to other Indian languages. The setting up of the Chair would give an opportunity to the students of Indian and other language centres to know about the Odia language and literature. Basing on this, literature of other languages would be translated to Odia.
The JNU authorities, along with this proposal, had also given the list of expenses to the tune of Rs 38.16 lakh towards the remuneration of employees in various capacities, including professor, assistant professor, research associate, stenographer/computer operator, research associate or senior/junior research fellow, office attendant, attendant and peon.
Besides, the University authorities had also given a list of additional expense of Rs 5.80 lakh towards seminar, workshop, debate, publication of books, magazines and research papers, research works, office stationery and contingency fund.
On receipt of the proposal of the JNU authorities, the then chief secretary had forwarded the proposal letter to the School and Mass Education department which, after reviewing the proposal, had asked the Odia Bhasa Pratisthan to take necessary steps in this regard.
The Pratisthan, after going through the proposal, had recommended to the state government to accept the proposal with immediate effect and sanction the required amount as proposed by the JNU authorities. It had also suggested that the government should name the proposed Chair as Sarala Das Chair of Odia Studies.
On the basis of the recommendation of the Pratisthan, the School and Mass Education department had later sent the proposal to the Finance department for approval.
Surprisingly, the Finance department rejected the proposal of the University. Neither the School and Mass Education department and nor the chief secretary made any effort to implement the proposal after that.
It is worthwhile here to mention that the JNU authorities, before giving their proposal to the Odisha government to set up the Odia Chair, had also given a similar proposal to the Assam and Maharashtra governments to set up Ahamiya and Marathi Chairs respectively. Of the three states, the Maharashtra government has sanctioned the money for setting up of the Marathi Chair.
Presently, JNU has Chairs for Hindi, Urdu, Tamil and Bengali languages.