The Linguistic Committee under the Kendriya Sahitya Academy has recommended to the Culture ministry under Union Government of India to accord ‘Classical Language’ status to Odia language. The Kendriya Sahitya Academy, a national level literary body was tasked with researching on the feasibility of such a proposal and to recommend suggestions therein. For a language to be accorded the classical tag, it should have high antiquity of its early texts and recorded history dating back to 1500 to 2000 years, ancient heritage literature considered valuable by generations and original literary tradition which should be unique.
The recommendation would need approval by the Cabinet under the Union Government of India to secure the classical tag. Previously, other languages such as Tamil (2004), Sanskrit (2005), Kannada (2008), Telugu (2008) and Malayalam (2013) had been conferred with the coveted tag by the Government. Odia would be the sixth Indian language to be conferred with this status.
Apart from the extra funds that will be made available for the development and preservation of the language, the classical tag will help foster a spirit of Odia identity and help in furthering the cause of nation binding. Consequently on the award of the classical tag, the Ministry of Culture under Government of India offers two major annual international awards to scholars of eminence of classical languages, sets up a Centre of Excellence for Studies and creates professional chairs for classical languages.