Bhubaneswar: Utkal University organized a pre-convocation award-giving ceremony today for the academic session 2018-19. Prof. Sudhakar Panda, Director, National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) graced the ceremony as the Chief Guest and awarded the degrees. The ceremony was held in the new Convocation Hall of Utkal University. Due to the pandemic situation, the convocation ceremony was not held last year. Hence, a pre-convocation ceremony was decided to be held to distribute awards for the pass-out students of 2019. A total of 127 Ph.D. degrees, 2 DLitt, and 100 Gold Medals were awarded during the function.
Prof. Sabita Acharya, Vice-Chancellor, Utkal University presided over the ceremony. Dr. Basant Kumar Mallik, Chairman, Post Graduate Council gave the welcome address, and Dr. Avaya Kumar Nayak, Registrar, Utkal University presented the University report at the ceremony.
Congratulating the University and its students, Prof. Sudhakar Panda said, the first university of the state, Utkal University has significantly contributed to the field of education and research climate of the state. He urged the students to cultivate the courage to do the right thing, develop an analytical mindset, and emphasized that bigger responsibilities await the i.e; the responsibility to lay a solid foundation for the next generation to thrive. “A degree should not be treated as a paper to land on a job and secure a handsome salary. Knowledge should be the driving force for all times, ” said Prof. Panda. Imagination is a powerful thing and he urged the scholars and gold medalists to use their imagination for nation-building.
Prof. Sabita Acharya began her address by paying tribute to all the great personalities, Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das, Utkala Gouraba Madhusudan Das, and many more who were instrumental in creating Odisha as an independent province and establishing the identity of Odias on the auspicious occasion of Utkal Divas. Utkal University was formed seven years after the formation of Odisha as a separate province. “Currently, in her 78th year, Utkal has always aimed towards building morally and socially responsible citizens for the country,” She spoke about the various milestones achieved by the university including securing 100 Cr funding through RUSA, various MoUs signed with many international universities through the International Office. Speaking about the research scenario at the university, she spoke about the 11 Centres of Excellence established under RUSA and World Bank’s OHEPEE project. Last year Utkal had secured the 96th rank and found a spot in the top 100 universities of the country in the NIRF ranking system. “We are aiming to place Utkal in the top 30 universities of the country and working tirelessly towards it,” said Prof. Acharya.
While giving the welcome address, Prof. Basant Kumar Mallik remembered the Founding Fathers of Odisha. He said, “Odisha was a dream and we should all take a vow to make it into reality and take the state to greater heights.” Dr. Avaya Kumar Nayak, Registrar, Utkal University, in his address paid tribute to the first Vice-Chancellor of Utkal, Dr. Parnakrushna Parija, whose birthday also falls on the Utkal Divas. Dr. Sarat Kumar Majhi, Controller of Examinations assisted Dr. Panda in conferring the awards and proposed a formal vote of thanks.