Bhubaneswar, November 4: It’s official now. Finally, the name of Orissa has been changed to Odisha, and the state’s language will henceforth be called Odia.

The Government of India on Friday came out the gazette notification on the passing of the Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010, and the Constitution (113th Amendment) Bill by the Parliament. The chief minister thanked President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Members of the Parliament for supporting the name alteration bill.

The gazette notification implies completion of the name alteration process that was kick-started with the passing of a unanimous resolution by the Orissa Legislative Assembly in November, 2009. On March 24, 2011 the Rajya Sabha had passed the bill to change the name of Orissa to “Odisha” and an amendment in the constitution to rename ‘Oriya’ language as ‘Odia’. Both bills were passed by the Lok Sabha in November 2010. The gazette notification mentioned that the change of names came into effect from November 1, 2011.

With passing of these two bills in the Parliament, the name of the state, specified as Orissa in the First Schedule of the Constitution, would now be changed as Odisha. The Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010, and the Constitution (113th Amendment) Bill, 2010, for the change of the name of the language were moved by Union home minister P. Chidambaram early this year on the basis of resolutions passed by the Orissa Legislative Assembly.

Expressing his happiness over the development, chief minister Naveen Patnaik declared that Saturday will be observed as holiday across the state. All government offices, schools, colleges and banks will remain closed. Celebration day!