Odia Varsity Stone Laid

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik laid foundation stone of the proposed Odia University at Sakhigopal in Puri district on Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das birth anniversary on 9 October.

First time such a regional language university will come up in the State, which will impart education up to higher courses including MPhil and PhD in Odia language.
Minister Higher Education, Ananta Das, Panchayati Raj Minister Pradeep Maharathy, Revenue Minister Maheswar Mohanty, MP Pinaki Mishra, MLA Sakshigopal Umakanta Samantary graced the occasion..
Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan, Secretary Higher Education, Bishnupada Sethi and other senior officers were present.
This Institution of Higher Learning will promote and propagate Odia language across the country. It will also facilitate research on different aspects of the language.
 Earlier, Odia language received the status of a "classical language" in the same league as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Malayalam and Sanskrit.
 The proposed Uvarsity is being constructed at the same place where 'Panchasakha' had set up Bakula Bana Bidyalaya, the state's first model open school at Sakhigopal in 1909.
 The Panchasakha (five friends) comprised Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, Krupasindhu Mishra, Harihar Das, Pandit Mishra and Nilakantha Das.
Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik before laying foundation stone for the Odia University offered floral tribute to the Panchasakha and planted saplings at Bakula Bana.
 "I hope the proposed Odia University will bring back glory of the past when the people of Odisha excelled in every field. The Panchasakhas had created awareness on the state's education, culture, its tradition and language," Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik said.
“Pandit Gopabandhu Dash was embodiment of selfless service. He was pride of Odia self esteem and his patriotism is unparallel,” reiterated Chief Minister.
The State Government has proposed a budget of Rs 10 crore to be spent for establishment of the varsity. At least 25-acres of land have also been earmarked for the purpose.
However, Opposition BJP and Congress criticized the BJD government saying the foundation of Odia Univarsity was a political stunt.
“Where was Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik all these 19 years his party is in power in State,” PCC Chief Niranjan Patnaik said, while welcoming the setting up of the Institution.
The BJD described the step a historic milestone for Odia language and culture and described the opposition statements as ‘unfortunate and politically motivated.’
“After having provided 18 years of strong development and governance, the historic decision of laying the foundation for Odia University by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the Biju Janata Dal Government today is a remarkable achievement and matter of pride for all of Odisha and for all Odias in the area of Odia language and culture,” BJD Spokesperson Sasmit Patra said.
This Odia University will prove to be a boon and a source of immense blessing and development of Odia language, culture, history, heritage and research, Prof.Patra said.

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