Odisha inks pact to open centre for Odia studies at JNU

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today signed an MoU with Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi for establishment of a special centre for Odia studies at the prestigious institute.

The centre will be named after former Chief Minister and legendary leader Biju Patnaik, said an official.

Biju Patnaik Special Centre for Odia Studies at JNU will boost research in Odia, a classical language, and help preserve Odisha’s cultural heritage, he added.

The state government will provide a one time-assistance of Rs 10 crore for establishment of the centre. The centre will start a master’s programme for Odia studies. Besides, the centre will conduct studies on Biju Patnaik’s leadership and governance, Jagannath culture and manuscripts of ancient Odia literature, said the Chief Minister’s Office in a statement.

The MoU was signed in the presence of JNU Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi in the capital city here.

“The Special Centre at JNU will create favourable conditions for promotion of Odia language, literature and culture,” said the VC.

Praising legendary leader Biju Patnaik’s role in the Indonesian freedom struggle, the JNU VC said, “Biju Babu single-handedly raised the glory of Odisha to the global level.”

She also appreciated the efforts of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to promote regional languages and culture, developing a pan Indian identity for them.

Notably, the development comes at a time when the state is hosting the first World Odia Language Conference in the capital city here.

The conference kicked off at Janata Maidan in the city here on February 3 and it will continue till February 5.

It is worth mentioning here that the state government had inked a pact with JNU in 2017 to set up an Odia chair, named after legendary Odia poet Adikabi Sarala Das, at the premier institute.

The state government had allocated Rs 5 crore for setting up of the Odia chair at JNU, sources said.

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