Update on July 21, 2011: Following is from Samaja.
With an aim to develop Oriya language and to promote the literature, traditions, culture and folklore of the state, a group of Oriya language lovers have come forward to set up an Oriya University. The university has been planned on the lines of Tamil university Tanjavur, in Tamilnadu; Telugu University, Hyderabad, in Andhra Pradesh; and Kannada Universty, Hampi, in Karnataka.
"Even though Orissa is the only state to be formed on the basis of language, unfortunately Oriya language has not got its due. English still remains the primary language used for all government and judicial communiqu’. Despite its richness and antiquity, the growth and development of the language has been restricted over the years," said Gajanan Mishra, founder member of Odia Viswavidyalaya Trust, a lawyer from Titilagarh.
Though the initiative to set up an Oriya University was started a couple of years ago, first concrete steps in this regard were only taken in 2010 with the formation of the trust. "So far we have not faced any challenge or obstacle in the formation of the university. Rather the journey has been quite encouraging and supportive. We are hopeful the dream would be realised soon," Mishra said.
With over 250 active members, including students, academicians, litterateurs, lawyers and politicians, the trust has launched a massive awareness campaign across the state to solicit public support for the university.
"We are planning to table the draft of Odia University bill in the coming assembly session. The proposed university will be set up in a public-private partnership mode in association with the state government," said member of draft committee, Panchanan Kanungo.
In a preparatory meeting here on Sunday, executive members of the Odia Biswabidyalay Sthapana Committee decided to solicit more members from across the state. "The finance committee and draft committee of the university were selected in the meeting. Now we would expedite the work to establish the university at a faster pace," said secretary of the committee, Chitta Ranjan Behera.
A research scholar of Oriya language in Utkal University and founder member of the university trust, Subrat Prusty, said, "The medium of education in the university will be Odia. Emphasis will be given on the development and growth of the Odia language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, morphophonemics, syntax, semantics, semiotics, preparing pedagogical grammar, comparative vocabulary, lexicon, and language learning."
The university will also deal with history and economics of language use, creation of dialects, sociology dealing with various aspects of sociolinguistics and psychology, dealing with cognitive aspects of Odia. Sciences including acoustic phonetics and scientific discourses will also be taught in the university, founder members said. Separate departments for translation, folklore and culture, manuscriptology, and faculty of Odia development and tribal studies are proposed in the draft bill.