Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has written to the Central government to extend Central university status to Utkal University which celebrated its 78th Foundation Day on Friday.
In a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Pradhan said the Central university status for the Utkal University is a long standing demand of the academic fraternity of Odisha. Compared to Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, which have four and three Central universities, Odisha has only one such university which is primarily catering to the needs of students in southern part of the state, he added.
Stressing for a second Central university in the State, particularly around Bhubaneswar, Pradhan said the city is set to become an economic and education hub in eastern India.
“Classifying Utkal University as a Central university would not only help the students from coastal and eastern Odisha but also create tremendous potential for employment generation, industry-academia interface and advanced research in the region,” he said in the letter.
“Keeping in mind the Prime Minister’s vision of empowering institutions of higher learning in the country, promoting research as well creating industry-ready manpower, I request your personal intervention in granting the status of a Central university to Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha,” Pradhan said.