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Sambalpur University at a Glance

Sambalpur University occupies an important position in the academic scenario of the State of Odisha and India. As an institution of higher learning it has become a catalyzing factor of social change in a relatively underdeveloped region of the Odisha. For the last fifty-two years it has remained committed to the pursuit of academic excellence and has earned credibility among the stakeholders. Having obtained from the NAAC an impressive A Grade and CGPA of 3.15 in its second cycle of re-accreditation and occupying a position within the first 150 universities in the NIRF ranking, notwithstanding its insufficient infrastructure and funding, this university proves that a creditable performance can be achieved in the midst of adversity. This is an affiliating university, with 240 colleges still under its jurisdiction which is spread over as many as 10 districts of Odisha. Hence it is entrusted with the responsibility of educating over 90,000 students. Veritably,  a mighty oak grown from a tiny acorn, this institution has come a long way. Back in 1967, it was a tiny institution, functioning at Patna House, Sambalpur. The campus at Jyoti Vihar, Burla, was built a decade later, and the academic, administrative as well as residential buildings for students and faculties came up in course of time. The campus at Jyoti Vihar is endowed with lush green woodlands and a peaceful atmosphere that is conducive to learning.

Sambalpur University has expanded its academic profile over the years to comprise 26 Postgraduate Departments in 42 subjects, and running self-financing programmes in 12 subjects. This institution has continuously expanded its curricular range in keeping with the emergent academic needs of the region. It has just opened up the Departments of Master of Social Works, Hindi, School of Performing Arts, Integrated M.Ed and B.Ed. Contractual faculties and Staff are engaged in these Departments at present. The University has also drawn up a plan to establish new Departments, namely Geography, Commerce, Psychology and Optometry. Since 2009, Sambalpur University Institute of Science and Technology ( SUIIT) has been imparting technical education, and the alumni of this institute have made enviable names for themselves in their respective professional and research fields. Further, Sambalpur University has been allocated a grant of Rs 5 Cores out of a total sanction of Rs. 27.70 Crores from the World Bank for establishing two Centers of Excellence, namely “Centre for Natural Products and Therapeutics” and “Center for Regional Development and Tribal Studies”. Both Centers have started research projects that are need-based and have potential for huge knowledge-base.

Sambalpur University has a very good research profile. Currently, 40 Major Research Projects are being run by Sambalpur University. From 2011 to 2018, the total number of PhD degrees awarded was 532. Sambalpur University has to its credit papers published in various national and international journals. The total output of research papers, books, monographs of the teachers of the Postgraduate Departments is 1798 in the last 5 years, with impact factor ranging from 0 to 47 andcitation index ranging from 0-940. Many of these publications have been indexed in SCOPUS, EBSCO, Routledge, JSTOR, Project MUSE, MIT Course Ware databases.

A  Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy Cell(SRIC)  set up in Sambalpur University 2016 has been promoting and assisting researchers for collaboration. Samablpur University has already signed 13 MOUS with various universities and research institutes. Of these, 7 are renowned overseas universities, namely: Universidad Atonoma de Nuevoleon, Mexico, University of Free State, South Africa,  Department of Social and Cultural Antrhopology, Tubigen, Germany, The University of Gorningen, Netherlands, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Federal Republic of Germany, Institute of Fuer Ethnologie, Freie Universitat, Berlin, Germany and CISCS, Aarhus Mundus (IBIES), Denmark.

Sambalpur University is trying to invigorate its collaboration with industries in various fields of research, and signing of MOUs with them is in the pipeline.  In collaboration with the Centre for Geo-Informatics Application in Rural Development (CGARD) and National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad, and IIM Sambalpur, Sambalpur University has developed a spatial plan for the holistic development of the Janhapada Gram Panchayat of Bargarh and infrastructure development as well as sustained livelihood of Western Odisha.

Besides all these, Sambalpur University has also taken a big initiative towards start-up programmes that envisage academia-university interface in terms of innovativeness and entrepreneurship. An E-Start Programme was organized by the E-Cell of Sambalpur University in collaboration with the Institute of Entrepreneurship Development, Odisha,  at SUIIT. As many as 110 students participated in the programme. Many young startup entrepreneurs acted as resource persons.

Sambalpur University holds extramural -mural lectures called Inspire. Noteworthy among them are one by young Indian Civil Service probationers and officers who had an interactive session with the students, and that of Sri Kailash Satyarthi, Nobel Laureate for Peace (2014), who spoke on Children’s Rights. Sri Kumar Prashasd, Chairman, Gandhi Peace Foundation, also delivered a talk on Gandhian philosophy in September 2019.

In pursuit of a holistic model of diversified curricula to accommodate entrepreneurship training,  sports and culture and various Applied Sciences as well as  IT and Management Studies with the Pure Sciences and Humanities, this University creates space for all those forms of knowledge are utilitarian and humanist in nature.

Sambalpur University is one of the very few universities to have instituted a national prize for best Indian poetry every year since 1991, on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee celebration. It also felicitates litterateurs of the region who write in Odia and Sambalpuri with “Bharat Chandra Smruti Samman” and “Nilamadhab Panigrahi Prize”. It also honours poets and performing artistes the  “Paschim Odisha Sanskruti Samman” for , a life-time award for their distinctive contribution to the regional art, culture and literature. The university has already published twenty books in Sambalpuri Literature, an anthology West Orissa: An Ethos, an English translation of the major works of Kabi Gangadhar Meher. In addition, it going to bring out another volume of scholarly essays on various aspects of Western Odishan culture, society, art and literature. This university has an enviable collection of historical artifacts, palm-leaf texts and prehistoric stones in the museum of the Department of History, and this Department is also collecting and curating ancient palm leaf texts from various regions of Odisha as part of the Manuscript Conservation Programme, funded by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Govt. of India.

Sambalpur University is known for promoting various kinds of sporting events. Some alumni have brought glory to the university. One student participated in Rio Olympics as a member of Indian Hockey team. Sambalpur University Sports Council also organized a mega event like East Zone Inter-University Football (Men) Tournament 2018-2019 from October 25, 2018 to November 1, 2018. As many as 53 teams participated in the football tournament matches. Another mega event that the University organized from January 7 to 11, 2019 was  the Central Zone Youth Festival titled JUAN PARAB. As many as 27 Universities from the Central Zone participated in various cultural events .  In 1989, Sambalpur University had hosted the Youth Festival. After a gap of thirty years, Sambalpur University earned the glory of hosting this mega cultural event.

As a leading academic institution in Odisha, Sambalpur University has been in many ways discharging its academic and social responsibilities for human capital growth and social transformation.