Bhubaneswar, Nov. 16: Knowledge and innovative research, backed by appropriate use of technology and policy decision, was needed for the country to move forward, Union minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSME, Mr. Nitin Gadkari said on Saturday.
“A lot depends on vision, technology and knowledge as it can convert waste into wealth,” Mr. Gadkari said while addressing the 6th Convocation of the SOA Deemed to be University here.
Lauding SOA for its focus on research, he said the Deemed to be University had contributed greatly in the field of higher education. “SOA is not only recognized today at the national level but also on the international platform,” he said referring to the university being ranked globally recently.
Odisha’s Governor, Prof. Ganeshi Lal was the chief guest on the occasion while the convocation was also graced by union minister for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Steel, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha’s minister for Higher Education, Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment, Dr. Arun Kumar Sahoo.
SOA Chancellor Prof. Khageswar Pradhan presided over the function while the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Amit Banerjee presented the report. Registrar, Prof. B.B.Pradhan was also present.
Honoris Causa (Doctor of Science) was presented on the occasion to Prof. Debiprosad Duari, a distinguished scientist in the domain of astronomy and astrophysics, who is presently the Director of the Birla Planetarium at Kolkata.
Expressing happiness at SOA having established 13 research centers and 38 laboratories to strengthen its research program, Mr. Gadkari said the country needed to place greater focus in this area while steps should be initiated to strengthen the knowledge base.
The union minister said after a Malaysian engineer had informed him about a new technology in which steel fibre was being used in place of steel for construction of bridges and flyovers to reduce cost, he had decided to get it checked by engineers. “It was found to be true. The use of steel fibres reduced the construction cost by 25 per cent,” he said adding “the need was to think out of the box.”
Research is also on to use bio-fuel for flying aircrafts and a SpiceJet flight from Dehradun to Delhi had flown using 25 per cent Jatropha oil as aviation fuel, he said adding the focus was on bio-fuel development.
Mr. Gadkari also laid stress on development of agriculture as it was an area which held immense potential to generate employment.
Addressing the gathering, Prof. Ganeshi Lal, however, said technology and innovation, though required, were not enough as one needed to have a peep into theology. “I must realize that I’m an eternal fragment of the power who created this world and sent me into this planet,” he said.
“God created man in his own image,” he said quoting the Bible while emphasizing that man had no choice but to be happy here. “The need is to accept and love everyone as pluralism and diversity is in our genes,” he said.
Mr. Pradhan described SOA as a prestigious university saying though young it had already made a mark in the field of higher education and research. “The university should come up with new ideas and compel the policy makers to accept it,” he said.
“There is no dearth of resources in Odisha but the ideas should come from the universities as to how to ignite a spark to take the state along the path of development,” the union minister said.
Dr. Sahoo also congratulated SOA for having carved a niche for itself saying it had been performing consistently and was marching ahead with long strides. The university’s decision to set up the Centre for Environment and Climate came in for special mention by the minister who described it as a timely step in the face of serious environmental challenges faced by the state.
The Chancellor Prof. Pradhan said India’s economic progress and transformation into a developed country was intrinsically linked to its education system and skill development. The present education system was plagued by rote learning and most of the students tend to forget what they had learned after the examination. “This is one of the fundamental flaws of our education,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Amit Banerjee said SOA had been ranked among the top 25 universities in the country for two consecutive years of 2018 and 2019 while it had broken into world rankings by being placed in the 600 plus category by the Times Higher Education (THE) World Ranking.
The university was ranked within the top 50 universities in the country in the QS India Ranking this year, he said adding SOA had been granted Graded Autonomy by the UGC while three of its technical programs had been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) of USA.
Prof. Banerjee said altogether 167 Ph.D. degrees were being presented to the scholars at the convocation in addition to four Chancellor’s Gold Medals and 132 University Gold Medals to the students who had excelled. Degrees had been presented to 4542 under graduate and 1243 post graduates students who passed out from the university.
Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) Deemed to be University’s achievements in a nutshell
The Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University, counted among the leading higher education institutions of the country, has been ranked among the top 50 in India in the latest QS India University Rankings 2020.
The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings is a UK-based annual publication of university rankings comprising the global overall and subject rankings which rank the world’s top universities.
Besides, SOA, Indian Institute of Technology-Bhubaneswar and National Institute of Technology-Rourkela are among the other institutions of higher education in Odisha which have been listed in the top 50 bracket.
SOA has also been ranked 15th among the top 50 Deemed to be Universities in the country in the latest Outlook-ICARE India University rankings for 2019, making it the highest ranked such university in Odisha.
As per the Outlook-ICARE survey methodology, the evaluation of institutions was based on parameters such as Faculty Student Ratio (FSR), Faculty with Ph.D (FWP), Papers Per Faculty (PPF), Citations Per Paper (CPP) and Inclusiveness and Diversity (ID).
Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University here retained the 24th position it had obtained in 2018 to occupy the top spot in the university category in Odisha as the rankings for institutions of higher education for 2019 were announced by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in New Delhi on Monday.
In the rankings conducted through the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) and released by the President, Mr. Ramnath Kovind, SOA was placed 24th in the university category--- the place it held in 2018--- and 41st among overall institutions of higher education in the country.
With this, SOA, which was conferred with the status of a Deemed to be University by the UGC in 2007 (repeat 2007), has remained the top institution in the university category in Odisha for the fourth consecutive year. Against the score of 49.59 it had registered in 2018, SOA continued to shine by securing 50.31 this year.
The Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, faculty of medical sciences of SOA, was ranked 21st in the country to be the top ranked medical college in the state.
SOA’s faculty of engineering and technology, Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), which entered the ranking process for the first time this year was ranked 32nd in the country behind National Institute of Technology, Rourkela (16th) and IIT, Bhubaneswar (17th).
SOA is proud to be associated with 9 degree granting institutes, which has a whopping strength of 10,000 students. The institute leaves no stone unturned in providing quality education in the field of medicine, engineering & technology, dental sciences, management sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, law, nursing, hospitality, tourism management and agriculture. SOA keeps on updating its curriculum from time to time as per the latest industry trends and believes in providing education to students with a holistic approach.
The department of Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER), faculty of engineering and technology of SOA, has now become the 4th institute in the country to get 3 of its programs accredited by the reputed Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), USA.
Adding yet another feather to its glowing cap, SOA has been ranked third in the country in the Swachh Campus Ranking for 2018 conducted by the HRD ministry. This shows the commitment and dedication of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan’s vision to work towards the skill development of students and betterment of the society.
- 127 Acres campus
- 4,47,395 sqm. Built-up Area
- 13 Research Centres
- 38 Research Labs
- 197 e-Enabled Classrooms
- State-of-the-art 1400-seat auditorium alongside four other auditoria
- 10 Student Activity Centres
- Multiple ISP Connectivity (more than 2 Gbps)
- Fully Wi-Fi Campus
- 37 National Collaborations
- 127 International Collaborations
- High-end Multi-disciplinary Research in Emerging Areas
- Fully Automated Libraries with Ample Print Learning Resources
- Adequate e-Resources with e-Databases
- Fellowship for Doctoral & Post-Doctoral Programmes
- Scholarship for Meritorious Students
This shows the capability and willingness of Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan to provide quality education to students and conduct ground-breaking research work in various fields. SOA has been expanding and new disciplines are on the anvil. But the principal objective remains to ensure that students, while training to be professionals, value their own lives as that of others.
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