BHUBANESWAR: The State Government passed a resolution to request the Centre to accord classical status to Odissi music. The second meeting of the Odisha Heritage Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik approved the proposal of the Culture department.

Briefing the media, Culture Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi said in 1964, Odissi dance was accorded ‘classical dance’ status by the Centre. In 2014, Odia language received the status of 6th classical language of the country by the Union Government. In 2008, the State Government recognised Odissi as classical form of music.

“This form of music is very ancient and has a Sashtric basis. It is also different from other forms of classical music,” the Minister said. The Minister said the Heritage Cabinet also approved a proposal for holistic development of the birth place of Pandit Gopabandhu Das, one of the modern makers of Odisha, at Suando in Puri district through a project involving a budget of `11 crore.

It also decided to create separate and autonomous directorates for the proper functioning of the Odisha State Archaeology and State Museum with creation of two posts of directors.

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.

A proposal was also passed to increase the financial grants being given by the Department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture to selected artists in various cultural fields.To recognise the importance being given to awardees, the amount for the Atibadi Jagannath Das Samman, Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Samman, Dharmapada Samman and Byasakabi Phakir Mohan Samman, will be increased from `1 lakh to `5 lakh.

Similarly, the cash awards of the various academies will be increased from `50,000 to `2 lakh and the amount of felicitations of the various academies will be increased to `1 lakh.The Cabinet 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 up through nomination process.

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