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It should be a Central University

By: | Jan 11, 2003 07:21 AM

Sambalpur University is located in Burla, Sambalpur. It is a relatively new University. Its campus is known as Jyoti Vihar. It serves western Orissa. It has many constituent Colleges. The oldest being the Sambalpur College, which is now an autonomous College. There is a demand, a just demand, to make it a Central University. Every State should have a Central University, but Orissa does not have one. The Burla Engineering College, affiliated to the Sambalpur University, has produced many engineers. It had the unique advantage of having the Hirakud Dam and the Hydro-electric Project as its laboratories for organising useful practicals for students. The Regional Engineering College, Rourkela, now renamed as the Regional Institute of Engineering ,is also affiliated to this University. All the Colleges in Bolangir, Sundergarh, Kalahandi and Koraput are affiliated to this University, which performs the dual role of a teaching as well as an affiliating University.

Sambalpur University's post-graduate departments are quite different from those of the Utkal and Berhampur Universities. For instance ,it has an integrated Life Sciences Department unlike the separate Departments of Botany and Zoology in Utkal and Berhampur. Its Mathematics Department also had made a name. It had some of the finest and brilliant professors. One of them, Dr. Sweadheen Pattanayak, is now the Director of the Institute of Mathematics at Bhubaneswar.

Sambalpur is famous all over the world for its tie-and-dye weaving, and its folk songs and folk dances. The Barpali Village Service, started by the Quaker organisation American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was a unique organisation. The first Health Cooperatives in India were started here. Now Barpali is in Bargarh District. Sambalpur University should have full fledged faculties of Sambapuri Weaving and Sambalpuri Folk Songs and Folk Dances. Many people in coastal Orissa ( to which I belong ! ) say that the people of Sambalpur speak an inferior dialect of Oriya. This is utter nonsense. Sambalpuri is a distinct language. It is a pity that neither Akashvani or Doordarshan broadcasts its programmes in Sambalpuri language. Broadcasting a few songs and Dances in Sambalpuri is not enough. No wonder, there is a movement to separate Sambalpur from Orissa, and give it a new name 'Koshala'. Nothing would be more unfortunate if this becomes a reality.

In climate also, it is different from the rest of Orissa. Only yesterday the minimum temperature was of the order of 6 Degrees Celsius. We should be proud of Sambalpur and the Sambalpur University.

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