Govt makes Odia signboards mandatory in higher edu institutions

BHUBANESWAR/CUTTACK: To promote Odia language, the state government has made mandatory display of sign boards in Odia in all schools, colleges and universities across the state. It includes nameplates of teachers/faculty members and officials of the educational institutions.
The higher education department on Wednesday circulated a directive issued by the Odia language literature and culture department among officials of the higher educational institutions. Similar directives were also issued to other departments, which run educational institutions.
The departments have been asked to ensure that Odia language is used in the signboards and nameplates of teachers/faculty members, heads of the institutions and other staff. They should write Odia without making any error, said the directive.
Official sources said the first line of the signboard or nameplate will be written in Odia, while English can subsequently be used. But the font size of English should not be bigger than the Odia font. A deadline of 30 days has been given to the institutions to implement the order.
“The state has always given importance to promote Odia. This will help to spread more awareness regarding Odia language and popularising it among students,” said culture minister Ashwin Patra.
A team has been formed to monitor the activities in various institutions. It will give surprise visits to the institutions to check the proper usage of Odia on signboards. “In case of any violation, heads of the institutions will be held responsible,” said an official of the culture department.
Subrat Kumar Prusty, member secretary of Institute of Odia Studies and Research Bhubaneswar, welcomed the direction of the culture department. “We have been writing to the state government for implementation of the Odisha Official Language Act in letter and spirit. We request the state government to ask national institutions in Odisha to write nameplates and signboards in Odia. Odia language should be promoted everywhere,” he added.
While welcoming the move, Kanhu Charan Behura, language activist, said the state government should implement the order effectively to get desired results. “We request the government to take action against some schools who impose fines on students and teachers for speaking in Odia in school,” he added.
Ironically, many higher education institutions, particularly private institutions, only have English signboards and nameplates of its officials and staff.

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