Utkal University - Vani Vihar
The Utkal University is the oldest university in Odisha and 17th oldest University in India and considered as the mother University of Odisha. Located in the heart of State capital Bhubaneswar, the campus spreads out over 399 acre adjourned to the National Highway-5.
The Utkal University campus is popularly known as Vani Vihar – ‘Vani’ means Saraswati, the Goddess of wisdom in Hindu mythology and ‘Vihar’ means adobe – Hence the campus of Utkal University literally means ‘Adobe of Wisdom’.
With affiliation with 267 general colleges, fifteen law colleges and six pharmacy and medical colleges, till date, Utkal University enjoys the status of the largest most affiliating university in India. It is also considered as the university with highest number of educational departments in the country.
Established in the year 1943, the foundation of Utkal University was laid by the first President of independent India, Dr Rajedra Prasad on the New Year’s Day in 1958 and after five years the campus was inaugurated on January 2, 1963 by President Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.
The Utkal University has gone through many phases of expansion and process of growth. Before being operational from its famous campus in Bhubaneswar, in the beginning the Utkal University was functional from the Ravenshaw College in Cuttack which was that time was affiliated to Patna University. Later on, the affiliation of Revenshaw College has finally got shifted to the Utkal University in 1943.
Eminent botanical scientist Dr. Prana Krushna Parija, the then Principal of the Revenshaw Collge was appointed as the First Vice- Chancellor of Utkal University that functioned as an affiliating body till 1949, the establishment of the Madhusundan Law College.
In the year 1956, the Geology department and the University College of Engineering became functional respectively in Cuttack and Burla, Sambalpur. Later on grant for establishment of the research department of Rural Economics and Sociology boosted up the growth of the university. In 1962, the State Government has appointed the State University Committee with the then Vice-Chancellor Dr. Prana Krushna Parija as the Chairman of the Committee.
Status at Present:
As a teaching and affiliating varsity, the Utkal University presently offers 27 departments offering Post Graduate courses in Arts and Humanities, Law, Social Science, Science, Commerce and Business Administration. All these disciplines offer both study and research facilities in the Vani Vihar campus along with three constituent institutes; University Law College at Vani Vihar, the Madhu Sudan Law College in Cuttack and the Directorate of Distance and Continuing Education.
The University has a strength of 3, 000 seats in its entire regular in-campus regular Post Graduate courses. Apart from these regular courses, the University Post Graduate (P.G.) Council directly controls 26 sponsored courses offered by Utkal University. The Distance Education Centre is also inside the campus.
The University provides separate hostel accommodation facilities for students inside the campus. At present the varsity has 11 in-campus hostels that includes six gents’ hostels and five ladies hostels with common mess and common room recreation facilities.
The hostels for boys are Gopabandhu Chhatrabasa, Madhusudan Chhatrabasa, Fakirmohan Chhatrabasa, Godabarish Chhatrabasa, Nilakantha Chhatrabasa and Acharyaharihar Chhatrabasa have strengths of 371, 240, 187, 190, 50 and 120 respectively where are the ladies are Kuntala Kumari Chhatrinivas, Ramadevi Chhatrinivas , Saraladevi Chhatrinivas, Malati devi Chhatrinivas and Ladies hostel No5 accommodation strength of 180, 234, 92, 100 and 502 respectively.
Apart from having separate departmental libraries for every Post Graduate Department, the University has a well maintained library named after its first Vice- Chancellor and great scientist Dr Prana Krushna Parija.
Regarded as one of the finest in-campus libraries, this central library set up in 1946 is enriched with a collection of around 2.5 lakh books, 236 Indian and foreign journals, 3673 manuscripts.
Popularly known as ‘Parija Library’, the general reading strength of library reading rooms is 120 where as Senior Reading Room strength and Research cubicle seat strengths are 24 seat and 14 seats respectively
Few years back the library has upgraded to become a digital repository, allowing its users to access various e-books and e-journals subscribed by the university.
The Utkal University Placement Cell:
Established by the Syndicate in 2005, the Placement Cell of Utkal University helps students in getting access to various employment opportunities in government and corporate sector, banks and non-government organizations.
This cell maintains a database of students enrolled in various PG courses and matches it with openings in reputed companies to arrange campus recruitment drives. The placement cell guides university alumni by organizing prior to placement workshops, interaction sessions and career counseling programmes.
The Utkla University enjoys status of having highest number of educational departments in not only in the state, but in the country. With 267 degree, professional and three constituent colleges affiliated to it, Utkal University poises as the largest most affiliating University in entire India catering higher education to a population of 11 million people.
Eminent Utkal University Alumni:
The University known for quality education has produced some of the great personalities and best brains to serve the nation. Some of the notable alumni of Utkal University are; former Chief Minister of Odisha and Governor of Assam Janaki Ballabh Patnaik, MP Jayanti Patnaik, former Chief Justice Gopal Ballav Pattanaik, noted Odissi exponent Padmashree Kumkum Mohanty, Swimmer Mihir Sen who is the first Asian to swim English Channel, noted US based bio-chemist Hara Prasad Mishra, eminent scientist Padmashree Madhusudan Kanungo, Mindtree co-founder Subroto Bagchi, Heidelberg papers editor Subrata K Mitra and KIIT founder Achyuta Samanta