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Culture varsity shifts

Mon, 16th May 2016 (Source:The Telegraph)

The Utkal University of Culture will finally shift to its new campus at Madanpur near Jatni tomorrow after missing several deadlines in the past two years. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik will inaugurate the campus. 

President Pranab Mukherjee, during his visit to the state in November 2014, was supposed to inaugurate it, but that did not work out, as the construction was not over. The varsity had decided to shift to the new campus by April last year, but that, too, didn’t happen. They had then rescheduled its plan to shift before Nabakalebar, which also failed. 

Thereafter it was decided that the shift would happen during the 17th foundation day of the institute in January this year. In March, the students took to the streets demanding immediate shifting of the campus. 

“Lack of infrastructure was hampering the academics at the varsity. Students were also unhappy. It was high time that the campus is shifted,” said vice-chancellor of the varsity Debendranath Jena.

The Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation was entrusted with the responsibility of building the campus. The work began in 2008. 

At present, there is a main building on the campus. The first floor will house the administrative departments and classes will be held on the second floor. There are two 100-seat hostels each for boys and girls. The main gate has been specially designed to reflect the culture of Odisha. Classes from the next academic session will be held on the new campus. 

“Special care has been taken for the beautification of the campus. Other facilities such as electrification and water sewerage system are in place. Pathways have been developed inside the campus where students can take a stroll or ride bicycles,” said Jena.

However, there are a few pending works. Provisions for amphitheatres and auditoriums are yet to be done. These apart, separate workplaces for various departments are yet to be completed. 

Plans are on to turn the institute into a residential complex until then transport services have been made for the students.

“Two buses will ply from the city to the campus daily. Once more hostels are constructed, all the students will be shifted to the campus. It will be done in the next two years,” he said. 

Former and current batch students are upbeat, but are apprehensive about the facilities. “Problems of scarcity of teachers and exposure are some of the problems that have been plaguing the students. Among many other things, lack of equipment in the institute is also another cause for concern. Unless these things are taken care of, shifting to the new campus will not be helpful,” said Ramanuja Dash, an alumnus of the varsity.

The old campus of the varsity located at Unit-II will be used as the research centre. “Focus will be on conducting research on classical Odia language. Former students will be roped in for the process,” said Jena. 

The Utkal University of Culture was established in 1999 to preserve, promote, propagate and protect the cultural richness of the state. 

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