Bhubaneswar: In a significant boost to Odia language and culture, the Odisha government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in New Delhi today for the establishment of the “Biju Patnaik Special Centre for Odia Studies” at the prestigious university.
The centre, to be named after the esteemed former Chief Minister, Biju Patnaik, aims to enhance research in Odia, a classical language, and contribute to the preservation of Odisha’s rich cultural heritage.
The Chief Minister’s Office revealed that the state government will provide a one-time assistance of Rs 10 crore for the establishment of the Biju Patnaik Special Centre for Odia Studies at JNU. The centre is set to initiate a master’s program focused on Odia studies and will also delve into research areas such as Biju Patnaik’s leadership and governance, Jagannath culture, and ancient Odia literature manuscripts.
The MoU signing ceremony took place in the presence of JNU Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi in the capital city. The Vice-Chancellor emphasized that the special centre at JNU will play a pivotal role in promoting Odia language, literature, and culture. Additionally, she praised Biju Patnaik for his remarkable contributions to the Indonesian freedom struggle, attributing his efforts to elevating Odisha’s global standing.
The collaboration between the Odisha government and JNU comes amidst the ongoing first World Odia Language Conference in the capital city, which commenced on February 3 and will conclude on February 5. This strategic partnership follows a previous agreement in 2017, wherein the state government committed to establishing an Odia chair, named after legendary poet Adikabi Sarala Das, at JNU. At that time, a budget of Rs 5 crore was allocated for the creation of the Odia chair.