Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 23: After three years of dilly-dallying, Odisha government has finally approved an Odia chair in the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday approved setting up of an Odia chair to encourage research and growth of Odia language, culture and literature.
“Government approves establishment of chair in Odia Language, literature and cultural studies in JNU,” the usually reticent CM tweeted.
The decision followed widespread criticism in the media, including in OST, for the government’s indifference to the issue for so long.
The Odia chair, to be set up under the Centre of Indian Languages, would further develop Odia language which has been granted the classical language tag.
The proposal for an Odia chair was sent by the JNU authorities to the state government three years ago. In a letter to then Odisha chief secretary on May 8, 2012, JNU authorities had proposed the setting up of an Odia Chair, for a one time contribution of Rs 4 crore for the management of the Chair.
The setting up of the Chair would give an opportunity to the students of Indian and other language centres to know more about the Odia language and literature and also facilitate translation of literature of other languages into Odia.
Along with this proposal, JNU authorities had also given the list of expenses to the tune of Rs 38.16 lakh towards the remuneration of employees in various capacities and an additional expense of Rs 5.80 lakh for research work.
Presently, JNU has Chairs for Hindi, Urdu, Tamil and Bengali languages.