Odisha govt to set up Rs 200 cr corpus fund to promote ‘Odia Asmita’

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 10 (PTI) The Odisha cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to create a Rs 200-crore corpus fund to take various initiatives for revival of 'Odia Asmita (pride)' and promotion of art, culture and heritage of the state.

The fund will be utilised for the establishment of Odisha Asmita Bhawan, Odia translation academy, a world-class palm leaf manuscript museum, development of the Paika rebellion memorial and e-library at the district level, Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi said.

Setting up Odia chair at national and international universities, financial assistance for training in Odissi music and dance and development of a cultural troupe management system will also be part of the initiatives, he said.

The three-hour-long state cabinet meeting was chaired by Majhi.

"The cabinet decided to create the Rs 200 crore-corpus fund for revival of Odia Asmita and promotion of Odia art, culture, and heritage," he told reporters after the meeting.

This was the second meeting of the cabinet of the BJP government since it assumed office on June 12.

The state government will also make efforts to get international recognition for the Bali Yatra being held every year in Cuttack.

The Odia language, literature and culture department has been asked to prepare detailed guidelines for the promotion of Odia pride, he said.

The chief minister said an expert committee would be formed for the purpose and the corpus fund will be enhanced in future.

The council of ministers also gave its nod to revise the minimum daily wages of unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and highly-skilled labourers in the state.

The minimum daily wages for unskilled and highly-skilled workers has been enhanced by Rs 98 while the wages of semi-skilled and skilled workers have been increased by Rs 108 per day, he said.

The daily wages are now in the range of Rs 450 to Rs 600, the chief minister said.

Majhi said the state government decided to revive 2,065 non-functional lift irrigation projects and strengthen 10,152 old ones with an estimated cost of Rs 1084.38 crore over five years starting this fiscal.

These irrigation facilities can cover more than 2.85 lakh hectares of land, he added.

Notably, the Odisha School Education Programme Authority (OSEPA) had issued a notification for the appointment of 20,000 teacher posts.

The Orissa High Court had given direction to prepare a merit list based on a computer-based test.

As per the direction, a merit list of 18,788 aspirants has been prepared and it was put forth before the cabinet today for its consideration, Majhi said, adding that the School and Mass Education department has been directed to expedite the recruitment process, he added. PTI BBM BDC