Former Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University and eminent scientist Basanta Kumar Behura was awarded the Kalinga Samman for 2012 for his lifetime contribution towards popularisation of science in the State.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik gave the award to Behura on Friday which comprised a citation, certificate, memento and cash prize of ` one lakh. The award, which has been constituted by the Kalinga Foundation Trust, is considered one of the highest State level recognitions in the field of science. The Trust was instituted by former Chief Minister late Biju Patnaik in 1951.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stressed on the importance of science in everyday life and said economic prosperity can be achieved through new ideas.
“The Government and the civil society need to work together to create a scientific temper among the students and the youths as well,” said Patnaik.
Behura expressed his gratitude for receiving not one, but two awards from the Chief Minister with Kalinga Samman being second award. “I remember the days when Biju Babu would visit the Trust and ask questions about my work and I would explain it to him in detail. He used to take keen interest in the work of the Trust and its members,” said Behura.
Science and Technology (S&T) Department Advisor Shashi Ahuja spoke highly of the award and how the Trust has managed to continue the custom for more than six decades.
She also remembered the perseverance of former managing trustee of the Kalinga Foundation Trust late Kamini Kanta Pattanayak in preserving the award and enhancing its importance through the years.
On the occasion, the Chief Minister also launched an e-book titled ‘United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Kalinga Laureates for Universal Peace’, which has been published by the Trust.
The book is a compilation of the 66 UNESCO Kalinga prize winners from across 23 countries and their work.
The Trust’s Chairman Bhabani Charan Pattanayak, managing trustee Prafulla Samal and local MLAs were present at the event.