Bhubaneswar: The Government of Odisha and Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, have signed an MoU to establish the Biju Patnaik Special Centre for Odia Studies at JNU. This memorandum of understanding (MoU) marks a significant step towards honoring the legacy of Biju Patnaik, the visionary leader of India, Bhoomiputra of Indonesia, and former Chief Minister of Odisha.
With the generous support of the State Government, which has pledged a one-time non-recurring corpus of Rs. 10 Crore for the endowment, the proposed Biju Patnaik Special Centre aims to delve into various aspects of Odia Studies. It plans to launch a Master’s Program focusing on leadership, governance, and contributions related to Odisha’s cultural heritage. Additionally, the Centre seeks to strengthen cultural ties with the Odisha Diaspora and promote contemporary Odia Literature and Art.
The MoU signing ceremony was attended by distinguished individuals including Sri Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Hon’ble Minister of Higher Education, Chief Secretary Sri Pradeep Kumar Jena, Development Commissioner-cum-ACS Smt Anu Garg, and Commissioner-cum-Secy OLLC Smt Sujata R. Karthikeyan.
Representing the Government of Odisha, Commissioner-Cum-Secretary of the Higher Education Department, Shri Arabind Agrawal, and Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit from JNU, New Delhi, signed the MoU.
The focus areas of this Special Centre include international teaching and research in Odia Language and Literature, exploring historical maritime linkages of the Kalinga Empire with Southeast Asia, diasporic connections, and promoting contemporary Odia culture through publications and collaborative research.
Other senior officers from the Higher Education Department of Odisha and Prof Udaynath Sahu from Adikabi Sarala Das Chair, JNU, were also present during the occasion, signifying the collaborative effort towards advancing Odia studies and cultural heritage.