Bhubaneswar: The Odisha cabinet headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday decided to set up a Heritage Cabinet and Odia Language Commission to preserve the culture, heritage, language and literature of the state.
It was also decided to separate the tourism department from the culture department which has been named the Odia Language, Literature and Culture department.
The cabinet also decided to bring in an amendment in the Official Language Act-1954 for mandatory use of Odia language in all official and administrative work across Odisha from March 1, 2018.
Appropriate legal action will be initiated against officials for violating the Act, said Law Minister Pratap Jena.
It also decided to bring in an amendment in the Odisha Shop and Commercial Establishment Act-1956 for compulsory Odia signage for commercial establishments.
Stringent action will be taken against violators, said the Law Minister.
In order to promote the Odia language, the government has decided to organise a World Odia Language Summit every five years, he added.
The minister said that no course fee would be charged for pursuing degree and post graduate courses in Odia subject while the number of seats would be increased for PhD in Odia literature along with relaxation of norms under Vyasakabi Fakir Mohan Senapati Scholarship.
The government would also provide incentives for research in Odia literature.
The government also announced initiation of awards for research, Odia blogs, Odia websites and others.
For non-resident Odias, Culture Minister Ashok Chandra Panda said an Odia Virtual Academy will be set up that will promote the Odia language, literature and culture across the world.