There were demands that Odia should be declared as a classical language as it has no resemblance to Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Telugu and similar other languages.

With this, Odia will join the exclusive club of Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, which have already been declared as classical languages.
Once a language is granted classical status, a 'Centre of Excellence for Studies in Classical Languages' can be set up, an official statement said here.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) can also be requested to create a certain number of professional chairs for classical languages, for scholars of eminence in the concerned language.

A committee of linguistic experts, appointed by the Culture Ministry, had recommended that Odia be made a classical language. Odia is billed as the first language from the Indo-Aryan linguistic group.
The criteria for declaring a language as classical requires high antiquity of its early texts and recorded history over a period of 1,500-2,000 years.
Also a literary tradition that is original and not borrowed from another speech community is a must.


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