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IIT Bhubaneswar celebrates Utkal Diwas remembering Odisha’s history & heritage

Bhubaneswar, 1st April 2024: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bhubaneswar has celebrated Utkal Diwas in a grand manner. Chief Guest Prof. Parthasarathi Ajay Barik, an eminent speaker of Odia & English Literature and Editor of a weekly newspaper “The Chira Sandhaan” graced the occasion, in the presence of Prof. Shreepad Karmalkar, Director, IIT Bhubaneswar, Prof. Rajesh Roshan Dash, Dean (Student Affairs) and Shri Bamadev Acharya, Registrar of the Institute.

In his presidential address, Prof. Karmalkar described his experience in Odisha during more than a year of his stay in Odisha. He said : “IIT Bhubaneswar is committed and working consistently towards transforming the education sector of Odisha, with special focus on reshaping the technological education scenario of the State. Recently, the Institute has launched the ambitious 100-Cube Start-up Initiative, which aims to create 100 start-ups, each with a valuation of Rs. 100 crore by the 100th Anniversary of Odisha in 2036.” “In addition, IIT Bhubaneswar is also focusing on researching the ancient knowledge resources to unearth mysteries behind the scientific insight and the engineering marvels of ancient Odisha,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Registrar Shri Bamadev Acharya cherished the rich legacy and heritage of the land of Odisha. He remembered the role of great leaders like Utkal Gaurav Madhusudan Das and others in establishing Odisha as an independent state based on language. He also introduced the Chief Guest of the occasion.

In his address to the gathering, Chief Guest Prof. Barik appreciated IIT Bhubaneswar for upholding and promoting the heritage of Odisha by organising such programmes. Through various literary references, and poetic inferences, he recollected the contributions of different Odia leaders, who made efforts towards making Odisha an independent State. He also mentioned the history of Odia language and literature, which were enhanced and enriched by great litterateurs of the State, starting from the ancient age. He emphasized on the significance of Odia as a Classical Language of India and the art and culture of Odisha as part and parcel of Odisha’s rich tradition.

At the outset, Dr. Remya Neelancherry, Coordinator, Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat (EBSB) delivered the welcome address. The programme was coordinated by the EBSB Team of IIT Bhubaneswar.

The celebration also included a Quiz on Odisha. A vibrant cultural programme by the members of the Institute showcased the spirit of the occasion and enthralled the audience.

To mark the occasion, the Central Library of the Institute has initiated a special book display celebrating the enchanting land of Odisha and its rich cultural heritage for the members of the Institute. This special collection of books, that delves into various facets of Odisha’s heritage, including its history, art, culture, language, and literature will be displayed from 1st April to 3rd April 2024.

Prior to this, on the eve of Utkal Diwas, the Unnat Bharat Abhiyan (UBA) of IIT Bhubaneswar organized an Exhibition-cum-Sale of various traditional foods like poda pitha, arisha pitha, rasabali, millet items etc. and handicrafts of Odisha like Pattachitra products, Pipili Chandua, Sabai Ghasa Products, home decors and jewelry with traditional artwork etc., representing the rich culture and heritage of the State on 31st March 2024. As many as 14 organisations, including Self Help Groups from nearby villages adopted under UBA, start-ups incubated at IIT Bhubaneswar, and women entrepreneurs of Kalinga Swaraj Foundation (Women’s Wing) participated in this programme and showcased their handcrafted products and culinary delights. This Exhibition-cum-Sale witnessed a footfall of around 700 visitors, including the residents of IIT Bhubaneswar campus and the vicinity of the Institute. Director Prof. Shreepad Karmalkar encouraged the participants and handed over prizes to the top three stalls and the top three dishes presented in the exhibition. Dr. Seema Bahinipati, Coordinator, UBA, IIT Bhubaneswar and Dr. Madhusmita Dash, along with the volunteers of the team managed this event.

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