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Workshop organized on 9 th Anniversary of Odia language:

Application of Odia language in e-media

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Odia Wikipedia recently has celebrated its 9th anniversary. 29 January is considered to
be that day when someone made a first edit on it. Communities from Bhubaneswar,
Cuttack and Nalconagar joined hands to celebrate this event with panel discussion on
“Application of Odia language in e-media”. This discussion was coordinated by
Nilambar Rath, Director of Academy for Media Learning. This event was organized by
the Odia Wiki Community with support from The Centre for Internet and Society in
collaboration with Academy for Media Learning. Panelists who took part in the
discussion were Prasanna Kumar Mohanty, Director of “Odia Bhasa Pratisthan”, Dr.
Prafulla Tripathy, Odia linguist and writer, Dr. Dhanada Mishra, Academician and
Director-Academics, KMBB College of Engineering, Subhashish Panigrahi, Programme
Offiecer, Centre for Internet and Society, Jatindra Das, Senior journalist and founder,
Odisha.com and Subhransu Panda, Senior journalist, Sambad. Wikipedians, students
and journalists took active part in the discussion.
spoke about the how the true form of the language should be taken to public via
media. “Many a times we need to sacrifice our conventional way of approach and
adopt new technologies like Wikipedia. Many of such efforts are not rewarded
because of the lack of support from the government even though there are funding
available for such development. We should plan out well and go to the government to
take this initiative to the government”, he said.
Eminent Odia linguist Prafulla Tripathy explained about the lack of public interest to
pledge for declaring Odia as a classical language even though Odia holds the 31st
position among 6500 world languages. This is for the better of 4 Cr Odia. “The
language of our personal lives, social interaction and verbal communication never get
documented. The confusion among various linguists is another obstacle to take Odia
to a global level. If the script grammar is kept in focus and script and eventually the
fonts are simplified then they would be easier to be used online”, he expressed. Dr.
Tripathy also shared his experienced his interaction with other Indian language
experts where he worked on OCR (Optical character reading) software which could
be a great tool to digitize many precious resources. He offered his support for
helping with OCR in Odia. Few other aspects of simpler approaches of scripts
discussed were glossary, Odia-English and English-Odia lexicon, spell check feature
for typing and interactive e-learning which could boost the effort of the wikipedians.
Prof. Dhanada Mishra, eminent educationalist and Director-Academics, KMBB College
of Engineering took the audience through the free and open source culture and Linux
and future role of Odia Wikipedia to tackle the problems of primary education. He
thanked the wikipedians for their noble effort and showed his interest in promoting it
more in academics.

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Subhashish Panigrahi, Programme Officer, Centre for Internet and Society discussed
about the role of Odia Wikipedia in documenting various resources in Odia Wikipedia.
He discussed about the various technical problems common men face while typing,
contributing to Wikipedia and how they could be handled. Nilambar Rath, Director,
Academy for Media Learning talked about the future efforts of Odia Wikipedia
community and thanked them for their noble effort.
Jatindra Das, founder of first online Odia newspaper Odisha.com discussed about the
hurdles of using Odia Unicode and acceptance level in the society for it. Senior
journalist Subhransu Panda talked about the usage of various fonts and how adopting
Unicode could bring a lot of information to public.

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