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Orissa now becomes Odisha; Oriya becomes Odia

Orissa declared Saturday a state holiday after President Pratibha Patil gave her assent to a bill to change name of the state to Odisha, official said.

Both houses of parliament had earlier passed the bill to change the name of Orissa to Odisha and an amendment in the constitution to rename Oriya language as Odiya.

"We have just been informed your historic decision. May I convey to you, Madam, the deep sense of gratitude of our people for the state to be known now as Odisha," Patnaik wrote in a letter to the president Friday.

Schools, colleges, banks and government offices will remain closed in the state Saturday as it has been declared as a holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act to remember the historic occasion, an official of the chief minister's office told IANS.

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