Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed hopes that the state government would implement the Odisha Official Languages Act by August 15, 2016. That will make Odia an official language and allow governance of Odisha in Odia.
However, it’s difficult to comprehend what the CM actually meant. There was no assurance, no promise. He just hoped. It can be recalled that he had made a promise to implement the Act inside the Assembly in December 2015. But, that did not happen.
“The Odisha Official Languages Act, 1954 is being suitably amended to implement Odia language in transaction of official business. I am hopeful that by 15th of August, this shall be implemented,” said Naveen Patnaik at the meeting of Council of Ministers.
The BJD Government has also decided to set up “University of Odia Language and Literature” in order to allow teaching and research in Odia language and literature at the PG, Doctoral and post-Doctoral levels.
In addition, the Odisha government has also announced setting up of an “Odia Virtual Academy” in this year’s Budget and has formed a five-member advisory committee. The academy will work towards the digitization of Odia language, manuscripts, literature etc, which will be available on its web portal.