Bhubaneswar, Feb 20 (LocalWire) The Union Cabinet which gave its approval for classifying Odia as one of the classical languages of the country five years ago seems to have ignored granting adequate funds for the regional language.
As the world gears up to celebrate International Mother Language Day on Friday (21 February) to promotes linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism, experts say it is the time for the authorities to pay attention for the promotion of the language which believed to be the first from the Indo-Aryan linguistic group.
According to the data furnished by the Union government in the Parliament besides statement of the Odisha government made before the State Legislative Assembly, it is evident that the language is lacking funding for its promotion.
This comes after languages like Sanskrit, Tamil and others are funded by Centre in crores.
The Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel during the first week of February this year furnished details of central funding for the promotion of classical languages of the country.
The six languages from the country which were entitled to get central funding include-Tamil, Sanskrit, Telugu Kannada, Malayalam, Odia which have been accorded Classical Language status.
The minister in his written reply claimed that for the promotion of Sanskrit language, the government has released funds to the tune of around Rs 643 crore in the last three years since 2017-18.
On the other hand, for Tamil it was Rs 22.94 crore, Rs 22.94 crore for Telegu and Kannada each.
The funding were granted for the language-specific institutes set up for the language promotion.
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However, for Odia and Malayalam the centres are yet to come and so are the central funds.
The minister in his reply said, “HRD Ministry is considering setting up of establishment of Centres of Excellence for Classical Odia and Classical Malayalam,”
The state government has also vindicated the fact that they have not received any central funds for Odia language promotion.
State Odia Language and Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi Wednesday told the state legislative assembly that the state is yet to get any central funds to the state for Odia language promotion.
He said, “We have not received any central funds for the promotion of Odia language under the classical language scheme. But we trying our best to promote the language in our state through several initiatives.”
The classical tag to any language aids in giving impetus to scholarships in the language.
With the classical tag advantage, a centre of excellence for studies in classical language could be set up while the University Grants Commission (UGC) could be requested to create, to start with at least in Central Universities, a certain number of professional chairs for classical languages, for scholars of eminence in the concerned language.
Odia was the sixth language given classical language tag by the government.