BHUBANESWAR: In an apt acknowledgement of the significant contribution of Tagore's Shantiniketan towards the growth and promotion of Oriya language and literature, the State's Department of Culture has offered to undertake several development initiatives for the Oriya Department of the University better known as Viswa Bharati.

The offers have come following the visit of Culture Minister S.N. Patro and Secretary Gopinath Mohanty to the just-concluded diamond jubilee celebration of the department that is the oldest of its kind in the world.

Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Mohanty revealed that the State Government would build up an Oriya Bhawan on the university premises that would serve as a centre of excellence for the research scholars in Oriya.

The University authorities have been requested to take up the matter with the West Bengal government to provide the land required for the centre, he said.

Museum planned

The State government has further mooted a plan to develop a museum on Oriya language and literature on the campus. The existing building that was built up by Orissa government would be converted into the museum, the secretary informed. The Department of Culture would shortly provide two computers for the Oriya department, he added.

To commemorate 60 years of teaching of Oriya at Shantiniketan, the Culture Department would bring out a publication on the achievements and prospects of the Oriya Department, Mr. Mohanty said.

The Department of Culture would host a monthly literary meet at Bhanja Kala Mandap on the third Saturday, the secretary said. The objective of the meet would be to deliberate issues related to the problems and prospects of Oriya language and literature, he explained.