Bhubaneswar: The two-day Utsav Odisha, a festival on culture and national integration, organised by Utkal University and the Institute of Media Studies, kicked off with a patriotic spirit and pride here on Friday.
Inaugurating the festival at MKCG Auditorium, State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and Additional Chief Secretary to Odisha Government Nikunja Bihari Dhal urged students and teachers to take pride in the cultural heritage of the state and move forward for nation building. Calling India a land of diversity, he said it is the diversity that strengthens us as a country and Odisha has a great contribution in the nation building.
“Even now, a programme of G-20 is going on in Bhubaneswar and we are celebrating 75 years of Independence. So Odisha has a strong role to play in promoting rich cultural heritage of the nation,” he said.
Odisha has a rich contribution in the field of art, culture, industry and education as well. Odia is an ancient language and Jagannath culture is a demonstration of world brotherhood in tolerance which is absolutely essential for national unity, he stressed.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University Prof. Sabita Acharya said art, literature and culture have been considered unique in Odisha since time immemorial. Odisha is continuously striving for developing in education, health, tourism and various other sectors, which are playing a major role in nation building. ‘Utsav Odisha’ will help spread the message of Odisha’s art and culture to all Indians. This is one such platform from which everyone can know about Odisha, she said.
Highlighting that Odisha is the land of service and sacrifice, Chairman of PG Council Prof. Durga Shankar Pattanaik said the service and sacrifice of Odia leaders have always inspired others.
Former Additional Chief Secretary to Govt. of Gujarat Dr. S.K. Nanda presented the keynote address. Among others, Registrar Dr. Avaya Kumar Nayak and Director of IMS Prof. Upendra Padhi also spoke. Director of Students’ Welfare of the university Prof. Mithali Chinara coordinated the event.
Three sessions were held on the first day on ‘Unity in Diversity: Role of Odisha in National Integration’, ‘Revisiting History: Our Roots & Unsung Heroes of Odisha’ and ‘India’s G20 Presidency & the World: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One Earth-One Family-One Future)’ where eminent experts shared their thoughts.
The second day will have two plenary sessions on ‘New India: Colonial Mindset & Beyond’ and ‘Bharat Youth Dialogue – Be the Change’. While Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India Ms. Uma Nanduri will address the plenary session-IV, winners (1st & 2nd) of Odia & English debate competitions will share their ideas & thoughts as speakers at Youth Dialogue session.
The closing ceremony is likely to be graced by Principal Secretary, Higher Education Department, Bishnupada Sethi, IAS.
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