Language Mafia on the prowl: Governor moved to refuse assent to Odia University Bill

(Bhubaneswar Bureau)

Bhasha Andolan, Orissa has submitted a memorandum to the Governor of Orissa at 11.30am today urging upon him to refuse accent to the Odia University Bill adopted by the Assembly on 14th this month , alleging that, it is pregnant with congenital defects, which, unless removed, would help language mafia on the prowl to prey uopn State-funded research outcomes.

Citing an instance, the Andolan leadership apprised the Governor of how a gang of language mafia acting under the cover of a Trust namely Institute of Odia Studies and Research, has stolen the document prepared by Odia Bhasha Pratisthan in support of the State’s claim for classical status to Oriya language in order to earn for itself an identity as a body of researchers, which identity it was badly in need of to acquire huge streach of land for its private project, incidentally an university, styled Odia University.

The Government is aware of the theft of this most historic official document. But, this gang has so corrupted the system that no action is taken as yet by the administration to punish the thieves, Bhasa Andolan leadership told the Governor, submitting an evidentiary document.

The Andolan leadership informed the Governor that, the Odia University Bill, as passed by the Odissa Legislative Assembly on 14th this month, has inbuilt provision by exploiting which the gang that stole the Classical Status document and any other similar gangs can use the Odia University for stealing the research outcomes generated with the funds provided for by the State Exchequer.

Below is an extract from the Memorandum given to the Governor:

“We attract your kind attention to Sub-Clause (xiii), (xv) and (xviii) of Clause 5 of the Bill.

In the original Bill, placed before the Assembly, Clause 5 spells out the “powers and functions” of the University, where, it is empowered under:

Sub-cl. (xiii) “to make contract for the purpose of transfer of technology either in whole or in part with ANY OTHER INSTITUTION OR ORGANISATION on such terms and conditions as may be required , from time to time, to raise fund for the University.”

We strongly opposed this mischief before the Member-in-Charge Minister, firstly under the ground that it being a State-funded University of Odia Language, raising of funds by making “contract” with “any other institution or organization” for “transfer of technology”, is detrimental to the scheme of University founded and funded by the State. Secondly, it gives ample opportunity to the Mafia to grab and misappropriate the “technology” built up by the State.
There being many Universities in the world who work on Language, we had no objection to any contract with any other such Universities of world repute to build up expand our own “technology” if needed; and therefore, we had insisted that the words “any other institution or organization” be replaced with “any other University” under this sub-clause. The minister had given us the impression that he agrees to our suggestion. But the amended version has kept intact the inherent mischief by replacing only the word ‘organisation” with “any other University”. Thus the Bill provides for “contract” with “any other Institution or any other University”. This is bad inasmuch as when the government was convinced that “contract” with “any other institution or organization” for “transfer of technology” was anathema to the spirit and purpose of the State sector University, retaining the words “any other Institution” is nothing but giving a gateway to the thieves of Classical Odia document and their likes to loot the result of the researches to be conducted by the State run Odia University. Therefore, Hon’ble Sir, this badly amended Odia University Bill should not be assented to and should be returned to the Assembly on the grounds aforesaid for reconsideration on this sub-clause;

Sub-cl. (xv) “to enter into any agreement with ANY OTHER INSTITUTION OR ORGANISATION to transfer knowledge through distant mode;”

We had apprised the Member-in-charge Minister of the inherent notoriety in this sub-clause on the ground of what we have mentioned above and demanded that the words “any other institution or organization” be replaced with “any other School or University”. But, despite that, the amended version notoriously provides for “agreement” with “any other Institution or any other University” for “transfer” of knowledge through “distant mode”, which, in view of the yet unpunished offense of stealing of the Classical Status document, will benefit the language mafia, to the detriment of State funding to the Odia University. Therefore, Hon’ble Sir, we urge upon you to please refuse assent to this defective Bill and to kindly prevail upon the Assembly to replace the words “any other institution or organization” in this sub-clause with the words “any other School or University” through reconsideration;

Sub-cl. (xviii) “to make provision for research and advisory services and for that purpose to enter into such arrangements with OTHER INSTITUTIONS OR BODIES as the university may deem necessary”.

We had apprised the Member-in-charge Minister of the mischief sic passim the wordings and had demanded that “other institutions or bodies” be replaced with “other Universities” only on the ground noted above. But, the amendment has kept the word “institutions” intact.
The Bill provides for wide scope of corruption and mafia transgression by not having defined the word “Institution” when the same word is kept intact in the amended version.”

In the circumstances, the Bhasha Andolan has emphasised that the word “institution” shoulf be deleted from the text of the the sub-clauses cited supra.

The Governor was pleased to assure them that he would talk with the Minister concerned and do the needful.

The delegates comprised of Subhas Chandra Pattanayak (Chairman), Pradyumna Satapathy (President), Pabitra Mohan Maharatha (Convener), Janakish Badapanda and Nabakumar Pradhan (Members of the Core Committee).

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