Kovind said alumni should contribute to the development of the university. Endowment fund is the need of the hour and it is not a difficult task. “It was only about four months back I had the meeting of endowment fund created by IIT Delhi. You will be surprised to know that in a month’s time they able to collect Rs 250 crore,” he added.
He said the alumni members should think how they can help their alma mater. “The fund could be used not only for infrastructure but also for creation of new centres of learning and centres of excellence. Some of the alumni may not contribute money but they can share their wisdom with the young students,” he added.
He also advised that alumni should meet every year. “In the Platinum Jubilee Year, the university has taken the initiative to involve its alumni in the development of their alma mater. This worthy move will fetch dividends in future,” he added.
Kovind said students and teachers should be sensitive towards the themes of empowerment of the marginalised. The issues of environment, health and education should be taken up vigorously. “Universities are great hubs of ideas, but they are not ivory towers. They are part of society and thus remain engaged with social change. The academic community should be engaged in research in areas that create not only a new knowledge base but also a knowledge base that sustains human society,” he added.
He said the world has started taking note of the richness of India’s ancient knowledge systems. “Our universities need to harness this and Utkal can take the lead in this regard. In the next five to seven years I would like to see Utkal University emerge as an Institute of Eminence in our country,” he added.
President laid foundation stone of RUSA Bhawan in the campus. This building will be built from the fund given to the institution under Rashtriya Uchchattar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) scheme. It will house centres of excellence, research centres, RUSA office, senate, syndicate, administrative and other offices. National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited, a government of India enterprise, will construct the five storied building on 15000 square feet area, official sources said.
Among others, Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal, chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, higher education minister Arun Kumar Sahoo, Utkal University vice chancellor Soumendra Mohan Patnaik, noted alumni of the university, government officials and hundreds of students and teachers attended the valedictory ceremony.