BHUBANESWAR/PURI: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of the proposed Odia University at Sakhigopal in Puri district.
The proposed university will impart education in higher courses including MPhil and PhD in Odia language. It will also facilitate research on different aspects of the language to promote and propagate Odia across the country.
Odia was the sixth Indian language to get the status of ‘classical language’ after Sanskrit, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. There was a long-standing demand for Odia, which is one of the oldest languages, to be declared as a classical language.
The State Government has proposed a budget of `10 crore for establishment of the university. Besides, 25 acres of land have been earmarked for the purpose. The university is being constructed at the same place where Bakula Bana Vidyalaya, the State’s first model open school was set up by ‘Panchasakha’ - Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, Pandit Krupasindhu Mishra, Harihar Das, Pandit Godabarish Mishra and Nilakantha Das in 1909.
Before laying the foundation stone for the Odia University, the Chief Minister offered floral tributes to the Panchasakha and planted saplings at Bakula Bana. He also paid tributes to Utkalmani on his birth anniversary.
“I hope the proposed Odia University will bring back glory of the past when the people of Odisha excelled in every field. The Panchasakha had created an awareness on the State’s education, culture, its tradition and language,” he said.
Panchayati Raj Minister Pradip Maharathi, Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty and Lok Sabha member from Puri Pinaki Mishra attended the function.
Meanwhile, opposition BJP and Congress have alleged that the foundation stone laying for the Odia University is a move to exploit the sentiments of Odia people and woo them ahead of the 2019 elections. “The Chief Minister has tried to gain the confidence of the people by showing his love for Odia language,” Harichandan said and criticised Naveen for not being able to read, write or speak the language even after 19 years.
Questioning the sincerity of the Chief Minister for enrichment of Odia language, the former minister said the existing chairs - Satyabadi, Mayadhar Mansingh and Artballabh Mohanty chair in Utkal University and Odia chair in Kolkata University - are vacant for lack of funds.
An expert in tropical meteorology, Prof UC Mohanty, Visiting Professor of School of Earth, Ocean and Climate Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar said the existing models show that the system may turn into a severe cyclonic storm but for a “very short period”.
As per meteorological parameters, wind speed associated with a cyclonic storm is in the bracket of 62 kmph to 88 kmph whereas for severe cyclonic storm, it is 89 kmph to 117 kmph.
The Advanced Research Weather (ARW) forecasting and Hurricane Weather Research Forecasting (HWRF) models, which are run experimentally at the IIT-Bhubaneswar showed that Titli will make landfall between north Andhra and south Odisha coast near Kalingapatnam. While ARF model showed intensity of severe cyclonic storm with maximum wind speed of 53 knots, HWRF model showed intensification upto cyclonic storm with maximum wind speed of 40 knots.
The national forecaster said, storm surge during landfall may inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts in Odisha as well as parts of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh, adding, damage was expected in Gajapadi, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri in Odisha and Vishakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh.
Extremely heavy rainfall alert was issued for Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara Kandhamal, Boudh, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Bhadrak and Balasore over next 48 hours. Damage to kutcha houses, paddy crops, power and communication lines was expected.