Utkal University, Bhubaneswar is the oldest university in Orissa and the seventeenth oldest university in India. It is a teaching-cum-affiliating University, that has produced some of the best brains in Orissa. There are at present twenty-six Post-Graduate Departments located in the University Campus for studies and research in various disciplines of Science, Humanities, Business Administration, Social Science, Law and Commerce. The total number of students in the PG Departments of the campus at Vani Vihar is nearly 3,000. This is, in fact, the largest affiliating University in the country with 267 affiliated general colleges, 15 Law colleges, 6 Medical & Pharmacy colleges.
After the separation of Orissa from Bihar and the creation of the new province of Orissa in April 1936, there was a strong desire among the leaders of the province for the establishment of a separate university in Orissa. Until 1936 all the colleges were under the jurisdiction of either Patna University or Andhra University. Subsequently the Government of Orissa, with Shri Biswanath Das as the Premier; appointed a committee on 2nd March, 1938 with Pandit Nilakantha Das as its chairman to examine the possibility of establishing a separate University in Orissa. Then during the premiership of Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, who played a pioneering role in the establishment of the University; the recommendation of this committee was made available. Pandit Godavarish Mishra, the then Minister of Education in the Government of Orissa introduced the Utkal University Bill which was passed by the Orissa Legislative Assembly on 30th June 1943. On receiving the Governor's assent subsequently on 2 August 1943, the Utkal University Act - 1943 came into force, clearing the way for the foundation of Utkal University on 27th November 1943.
Utkal University came into being under the Utkal University Act, 1943. In 1966 that act was repealed and a new Utkal University Act came into effect from 1 January 1967. Initially Utkal University was operating from the Ravenshaw College, before it came to its own campus at Bhubaneswar, called Vani Vihar. Ravenshaw College remained affiliated to Patna University even after the separation of Orissa from Bihar in 1936 and the affiliation was finally transferred to the newly created Utkal University in 1943. In fact, it was Ravenshaw College that gave birth to the new University, nursed and sustained it. It operated from Ravenshaw College's present Zoology Department building premises. The University has many departments from Anthropology to Zoology, for post-graduate teaching.
Evolution of the Post Graduate Departments
The initial "Utkal University Act - 1943" did not specify clearly the territorial jurisdiction of the University. However its jurisdiction was extended to include the princely states in Orissa by an agreement between the rulers of these princely states and the Government of Orissa. According to the agreement adequate representation of the princely states in the administrative and academic bodies of the university (15 members in the Senate, one member each in the syndicate and the Academic Council) was granted. The Utkal University Act 1943 was accordingly amended in the year 1947 defining the territorial jurisdiction of the University which was subsequently extended further to the whole State of Orissa in 1950.
Dr. Pranakrushna Parija, the then Principal of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack was the first Vice-Chancellor of the University, Mr. V. V. John, the then Assistant Professor of English in Ravenshaw College was the first Registrar of the University. The University, to start with, functioned mainly as an affiliating body. But very soon in 1949, it took over the management of the under- graduate Department of Law from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack and established its first constituent college now known as Madhusudan Law College, Cuttack. In 1956, the second phase of its expansion began with the opening of the Post-graduate Department of Geology in Ravenshaw College Campus and an Engineering College at Burla University College Of Engineering, Burla (UCE), Sambalpur. A research Department of Rural Economics and Sociology was also started in the same year with a generous grant from the Ford Foundation. In the year 1957, two new Post-graduate Departments in Philosophy and Sanskrit were established on the premises of the Burdwan House at Cuttack. That year the University Office was shifted to the Circuit House at Cuttack. The University in the initial phases provided new facilities for post-graduate studies only in those subjects which did not exist in Ravenshaw College at that time. Then in 1958, the Post-Graduate Departments of Psychology, Statistics, Political Science and Anthropology were established. While the first three Departments were housed on the premises of Ravenshaw College, the Department of Anthropology was accommodated in a rented house at Bhubaneswar. The University took over the Post-graduate Department of History from Ravenshaw College in the year 1959. Post-Graduate studies in Zoology and Commerce were introduced in 1960 and 1962 respectively. The Research Department of Rural Economics and Sociology was established in 1956 and started Post-Graduate courses in Applied Economics in the year 1963. It was subsequently renamed as the Department of Analytical and Applied Economics. Around that time, a movement for the creation of regional universities started in different parts of Orissa. Accordingly, the Government of Orissa appointed the State University Committee in 1962 with Dr. P Parija, the then Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University as the Chairman. On the recommendation of the Committee, two more universities were created; one at Sambalpur and the other at Berhampur. The Utkal University Act - 1943 was, in consequence, suitably amended to meet the new situation. The two new Universities at Sambalpur and Berhampur came into existence with effect from 1st January 1967; the date from which the new Utkal University Act came into force. The jurisdiction of Utkal University, which earlier covered the whole State of Orissa, was redefined in the new legislation. After the establishment of the two new Universities, the management of the Evening Colleges at Cuttack, Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur and Berhampur were taken over by the State Government. The Engineering College at Burla was handed over to Sambalpur University. Utkal University, in its new campus at Vani Vihar, opened few other Post-Graduate Departments such as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany, Oriya and English during the years 1966-69. The Department of Sociology and Labour Welfare was started in 1970, which in the year 1974 was split into the Department of Sociology and the Department of Labour Welfare (now re-named as the Department of Personnel Management and Industrial Relations). The Department of Geography was opened in 1970. The Post-Graduate Department of Law (L.L.M.) was started in the year 1973. The Department of Geology, which was accommodated earlier in Ravenshaw College was shifted to Vani Vihar in 1977. Then the Department of Library and Information Science and that of and Political Science Departments respectively, besides the 27 regular Post Graduate Programmes, along with Business Administration were opened in the year 1981 and in 1984. A Computer Centre was established initially with different departments of the University. IBM- 1130 computers were donated by the University Grants Commission in the year 1970 which has subsequently been placed by the WIPRO LANDMARK system at a cost of Rs.16 lakh provided later by the UGC. The Computer Centre, while facilitating research work undertaken by various departments of the University earlier offered a Post-Graduate Diploma Course (DCA) on Computer Application from 1980 to 1997. In 1990 the University opened the Department of Computer Science and Applications. In the year 1999, the University came up with Integrated MCA course, which is a 5yr post-graduation course after 12th. This course went to become a huge hit after the students got placed in all the multi-nationals.
The University campus is located at the heart of Bhubaneswar city and right on NH-5. It is nearly 5 km from both the Main Railway Station at MasterCanteen and Bus Stand at Baramunda. All the postgraduate departments and the University Law College are located inside the campus. Its present campus at Vani Vihar is located on a sprawling 399.9 acre area in the heart of Bhubaneswar beside the National High way No.5 connecting Calcutta and Chennai. The foundation stone of the present campus was laid by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the first President of India on 1st January 1958 and the campus was inaugurated by Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the second President of India on 2nd January 1963.
Utkal University has a dedicated Placement Cell in operation to facilitate recruitment and career development for the students studying in different post graduate departments and self-financing programmes. The Placement Cell continuously strives to help students in pursuing their career goals by acquiring employment-seeking skills and ultimately to attain desired employment.
The Placement Cell, constituted in 2005 by the decision of the Syndicate, establishes and maintains linkage with industrial establishments, corporate houses, Banks, NGOs, PSUs etc for meaningful employment for post-graduate students from all disciplines.
Leading organizations of international and national repute have partnered with Utkal University for recruitment through campus placement.
Leading organizations of international and national repute have partnered with Utkal University for fresher’s recruitment through campus placement. These include
Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar has 28 Departments listed that offer various academic courses.
Scholarships are grant-in-aid to a student who wants to pursue education at Utkal University, Bhubaneshwar