Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday laid the foundation stone of Odia University in Puri district. The ground-breaking ceremony marked the 141st birth anniversary of ‘Utkalmani’ Gopabandhu Das, a renowned poet, essayist and social activist born in 1877 in Puri.
The university aims to promote Odia language across the country. It will offer post-graduate courses in Odia language and literature and facilitate research on different aspects of the language. On the occasion, the Chief Minister offered floral tributes to the ‘Panchasakha’ (five friends) – Gopabandhu Das, Krupasindhu Mishra, Harihar Das, Pandit Godavarish Mishra and Nilakantha Das. The ‘Panchasakha’ had set up ‘Bakula Bana Vidyalaya’, the first model open school in the state at Sakhigopal, in 1909.