BHUBANESWAR: Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi will now offer a masters’ course on Odia studies and other research programmes. The state government on Sunday announced to open a special centre, to be named after former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, at the premier varsity for Odia studies.
The announcement came during the first World Odia Language Conference being organised by the Odia Language Literature and Culture department to celebrate the antiquity and continuity of Odia language and showcase its evolution and development.
Apart from post graduate course on Odia studies and research on Jagannath culture, the centre will promote codicology of ancient Odia literature and facilitate research on the leadership and contributions of Biju Patnaik and his role in the Indonesian freedom struggle.
The Higher Education department inked a pact with JNU for the special centre for which Odisha government will provide a one-time corpus of Rs 10 crore.
Higher education secretary Arvind Agrawal signed an MoU with JNU vice-chancellor Prof Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit in the presence of Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and other officials.
Prior to the MoU signing ceremony, Prof Pandit met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Niwas. During discussion, she appreciated the chief minister’s transformational initiatives in Odisha that have brought visible changes in every sector of the state.
Describing the chief minister as the finest example of cooperative federalism, she lauded his efforts to promote Odia language and culture and expand its scope beyond Odisha.
“The special centre at JNU will create favourable conditions for promotion of Odia language, literature and culture,” she said.
Lauding Biju Patnaik’s role in the Indonesian freedom struggle, Prof Pandit said Biju Babu single-handedly raised the glory of Odisha to global level.
Official sources said the special centre besides introducing a master’s programme covering various aspects of Odia language, literature and culture, will focus on international studies and research that will explore historical maritime linkages of ancient Kalinga with South east Asia.
It will strengthen cultural bonds with the Odisha diaspora, and propagate contemporary Odia literature, art and culture at the international level.
The centre will also promote publications of collaborative research works.
Chief secretary PK Jena, development commissioner Anu Garg, secretary of Odia Language Literature and Culture Sujata R Karthikeyan and Prof Udaynath Sahu from Adikabi Sarala Das chair, JNU were present.