Seven proposals have been approved in the second meeting of the heritage cabinet

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is well known for its rich cultural heritage. In 1964, Odissi was recognised as a classical dance by the Government of India (GoI). In 2014 Odia was recognised by the GoI as a classical language. Government of Odisha has recognised Odissi as a classical form of music during 2008. This form of music is very ancient and has a sastric basis. It is also different from other forms of classical music. A resolution was passed to request GoI to give Odissi music a classical status.

Odisha has a rich culture, traditions and heritage. Its architectural heritage consisting of ancient temples, stupas and sculptures and other ancient treasures are being preserved and maintained by the Department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture. The Department also undertakes other related tasks such as documentation and publications. As the Department currently functions under one Director, it is becoming difficult to undertake the management of such a vast range of activities with proper functioning. Therefore, it is proposed that for proper functioning of the Odisha State Archaeology, a separate and autonomous Directorate shall be formed and the post of a Director shall be created for this purpose.

The Odisha State Museum has fifteen important sub-departments and it also has the district museums functioning under it. The objects housed in the OSM are unique in the world. Their preservation work, and the digitisation, cataloguing, documentation, preservation and publication of the manuscripts housed in the Museum are also regular activities. Apart from these, the OSM also has the responsibility of maintaining and managing Ananda Bhavan Museum at Cuttack and Jayadeba Museum at Kendubilva. All the work is being managed under a single Director under the Department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture, who has other responsibilities as well. It is difficult to undertake the management of such a vast range of activities under OSM and function properly while maintaining quality. Therefore, it was proposed and approved to create a separate and autonomous Directorate for the OSM and create the post of Director for the same.

In order to make the ancient treasures housed in the Odisha State Museum such as coins, inscriptions, palm leaf manuscripts, anthropological objects,  valuable objects related to mining and geology, maritime traditions, ivory objects, arms and instruments, bronze sculptures, and traditional paintings, to a wider audience across the world (especially in the light of the current pandemic), the Odisha State Museum will be developed into a virtual entity with digitisation. A similar model will be followed for Ananda Bhavan Museum which memorialises Biju Patnaik. Proposal was passed for undertaking this work for the museums.

A proposal was also passed to increase the financial amount being given by Department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture to the selected artists in various cultural fields. To recognise the importance being given to awardees, the amounts for the Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman, Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Samman, Dharmapada Samman and Byasakabi Phakir Mohan Samman, would be increased from Rs. 100, 000 (One lakh rupees) to Rs. 500, 000 (Five lakh rupees). Similarly, the amounts for awards of the various Academies shall be increased from Rs. 50, 000 (Fifty thousand rupees) to Rs. 200, 000 (two lakh rupees) and the amount of felicitations of the various Academies shall be increased to Rs. 100, 000 (One lakh rupees).

A proposal was moved and approved to fill up all the existing vacancies in the various academies, institutions and various centres of the Department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture through a transparent process of widely publicised advertisements. If needed, the posts will also be filled through nomination process.

Pandit Gopabandhu Das is one of the makers of modern Odisha. He had established Satyabadi Bana Bidyalaya and ‘The Samaja’ newspaper. His contributions to the fields of education, politics, literature, culture and spiritualism are significant. A proposal was moved and approved for holistic development of his birthplace Suando through a project involving a budget of approximately eleven crore rupees.