Sri Sri University at its Cuttack campus organised a debate competition among university students to mark the occasion of the 81st anniversary of the formation of state of Odisha. The debate competition was on the journey of Odisha to understand whether in last 80 years the state has been able to be a developed state or continues to be branded as a poor underdeveloped state.
Prof Srinivas Subbarao, the Registrar of the university welcomed the guests, dignitaries, debate participants and students of Sri Sri University. Vice Chancellor Prof Nand Lal welcomed the celebration of this important programme and urged to make the function a permanent feature of the university calendar and continue to add more activities to reflect the cultural, historical and economic aspects of the state. He shared how those who participated in Haryana Day cultural celebration have now become television and cinema actors. He hope that Utkala Dibasa celebrations can also prepare future artists. Students of Performing Arts led the congregation to sing the patriotic song Bande Utkala Janani. The participants stood and sang together with the chorus.
Prof Subbarao introduced the Chief Guest Prof Niranjan Barik. He shared how Prof Barik has contributed to the teaching-learning process in the areas of political science and international relations in the state of Odisha. Prof Subbarao highlighted Prof Barik’s role in institution building in creating School of International Studies (SIS) first ever such school in Odisha at Ravenshaw University.
Prof Barik in his key note address shared the story on how Odisha became a separate state and how Odia nationalism shaped the movement. He emphasized on the legacy of this movement. He reminded that in post-independent India Odisha took leadership in creating language as the basis of state formation in India. In the present context as there is global attention on Odisha, he advocated that Odisha needs to showcase its rich history to the outer world. He highlighted that there is now renewed energy and momentum in Odisha to connect to the world through Odisha’s history, culture and economy. He shared how there has been a global increase in number of researchers and policy makers interested in Odisha. He hoped that now when Odisha is attracting global attention, Sri Sri University is ready to take leadership in this movement.
Prof Barik suggested to Sri Sri University to open a Centre for Odisha Studies which would attract national and global scholars interested in Odisha. Praising the effort of Art of Living and Sri Sri University, Prof Barik revealed that how he gets great holistic satisfaction while he comes to the campus and he felt this would be true with everyone who has visited this beautiful campus.
Prof Pratima Sarangi, the HoD of Department of Good Governance and Public Policy and Prof Narsingh Majhi, the HoD of Faculty of Media Studies joined Prof Niranjan Barik to judge the debate competition. Students argued on both sides and made it difficult for the judges to decide. Out of close to 20 participants the girl students especially performed well. Students who presented nuanced arguments and explained well their position of agreement and disagreement impressed the judges.