Important highlights about the Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016
Odisha Governor Dr SC Jamir on 23 May 2016 promulgated Odisha Official Language (Amendment) Ordinance, 2016. The Ordinance empowers the state government to formulate laws to implement the Odisha Official Language Act 1954.
This will facilitate use of Odia language in transaction of official businesses of the Government.
The Ordinance enforced on 21 May 2016 will amend the Language Act and use Odia in writing files, letters and all other official documents prepared by the government.
Earlier, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that the Odisha Official Language Act would be implemented by 15 August 2016. Some announcements made were
• He also announced that a university to promote Odia language and literature will be set up for teaching and research at the postgraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels.
• He also said that Odia Virtual Academy, which was announced in the state budget, would be set up. The academy will digitize the literary corpus of Odia language and make it available through web-portal.
Article 345 of the Constitution of India: Official language or languages of a State Subject to the provisions of Article 346 and 347, allows the state legislature to adopt 'any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes' of the concerned State.
It also provides that, until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law, the English language shall continue to be used for those official purposes within the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of this Constitution.
Orissa is the first state to be evolved on the basis of language. So the Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 was enacted in 1954.