Bhubaneswar: Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday sought the personal intervention of Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to accord Central University status to Utkal University in Odisha.
The premier institution is celebrating its 78th Foundation Day on Friday.
In a letter, Pradhan said that there has been a long-standing demand of academicians in Odisha to accord Central University status to Utkal University.
While Bihar has four Central Universities and three in Andhra Pradesh, the Minister said Odisha has only one Central University in Koraput district, which caters to needs of students in southern parts of the state.
He said there is an acute necessity for setting up a second Central University in the state, especially around Bhubaneswar which is set to become an economic and education hub in eastern India.
“Classifying Utkal University as a Central University would not only cater to the needs of students from coastal and eastern Odisha, but also create tremendous potential for employment generation, industry-academia interface and advanced research in the region,” he added.
Pradhan cited Utkal University, a premier institute of learning, has a heritage of more than 75 years of nurturing excellence in higher education.
Utkal University hosts 28 Post Graduate Departments and 17 self-financing courses. The University has 3 constituent colleges and 373 affiliated colleges spread across 9 districts of Odisha, with an enrollment of almost 3 lakh students.