The Orissa Official Language Act, 1954

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The Orissa Official Language Act, 1954
An Act to confer upon the Odisha Government certain powers to ensure and encourage use of Odia in official correspondence.
Enacted byOdisha Legislative Assembly
Legislative history
BillAct no. 14 of 1954
Act 18 of 1963 & Act 12 of 1985

The Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 is an Act of Odisha Legislative Assembly that recognizes Oriya(Odia) "to be used for all or any of the official purposes of the State of Orissa."[1]


Article 345 of the Constitution of India empowers the Legislature of the State to adopt 'any one or more of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the language or languages to be used for all or any of the official purposes' of the concerned State. But it provides for the continued use of English for the 'purposes within the state for which it was being used before the commencement of the Constitution', until the Legislature of the State otherwise provides by law.[2] Orissa is the first state to be evolved on the basis of language. So The Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 was enacted in 1954.[3]


Despite the enactment, the implementation has not been done in a mass scale for which people of Odisha have voiced to ensure the use of Odia language in all official correspondence. The hunger strike by activist Gajanana Mishra was a prominent step in this direction was one such significant instance.[4][5]

Salient features[edit]

The Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 is the Orissa Act 14 of 1954 which received the assent of Governor on 1 October 1954 and was published in the Orissa Gazette on 15 October 1954.[6]

Important Sections[edit]

Section 3A[edit]

This section has been inserted by the Amendment Act 1963 which states about Continuance of English language for use in Legislature:


  • The 1963 Orissa Official Language (Amendment) Bill makes provision for continuing use of English in addition to Odia for transaction of business in legislature of the state of Orissa.[7]
  • One new amendment was added to this act under Amendment Act 12 of 1985.


  1. ^ "Acts, Ordinances and Regulations". Govt. of Odisha. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Constitution of India". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  3. ^ Mallikrjuna, B. "LANGUAGE IN INDIA" (PDF). Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  4. ^ Pattnaik, Subash Chandra. "Odia Bhasa Sangram Samiti". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  5. ^ "ଅନଶନ ଭାଙ୍ଗିଲେ ଗଜାନନ". Sambad. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  6. ^ B. P. Mahapatra (1 January 1989). Constitutional languages. Presses Université Laval. pp. 361–. ISBN 978-2-7637-7186-1.
  7. ^ Benedicter, Thomas. Language Policy and Linguistic Minorities in India. pp. 91–92.