BHUBANESWAR: The Utkal University of Culture will move to its new campus at Madanpur near Jatni by April this year.
On the occasion of 16th foundation day of the university on Sunday, Vice- Chancellor Debendra Nath Jena said the campus will be shifted to Madanpur prior to beginning of the new academic session as student strength is expected to rise further. Although President Pranab Mukherjee was supposed to inaugurate the new campus in November last year, the programme was cancelled as works could not be completed on time by IDCO.
Currently, over 90 per cent of work is over including construction of hostels and the academic block. The campus is spread over 45 acres of land. “We also aim to organise the convocation ceremony at the new campus this year. We will invite the President or the Vice- President to grace the occasion,” Jena said. The last convocation ceremony of the university was held in 2012.
Plans are also on to introduce two new departments in the academic curriculum, Odia Literature and Tribal Studies. As focus will be shifted to need-based research work, the university administration has decided to convert the present campus into a research centre in arts.
The university is still not registered under the Section 12B of the UGC Act which is a hindrance in getting funds from the University Grants Commission (UGC).
To be eligible, the university must have minimum 30 regular teachers with five professors, 10 readers and 15 lecturers and adequate support staff. “We are facing faculty shortage for which we do not get crores of rupees from the UGC. Along with opening of the new campus, we are aiming at beginning the recruitment process this year and the Government has been approached in this regard,” he said.
On the occasion, Governor SC Jamir lauded the efforts of the university administration in continuing education in art sector despite numerous handicaps.
Culture Minister Ashok Panda assured that problems in the institution will be sorted out soon. Culture Director Arabinda Padhee was also present. An exhibition on art installations and paintings created by students was also organised at Bhanja Kala Mandap. The annual newsletter of the university ‘Sanskruti’ was released by the Governor.