With its focus on research and emphasis on a strong academic foundation, the Siksha 'O' Anusandhan University, also known as SOA University, in Bhubaneswar is today reckoned as a center of superlative professional education. This multidisciplinary temple of learning, with a student base of around 10,000, is carving out a niche for itself among the best.
The historic 2nd century BC relics of Khandagiri and Udayagiri hills separate the University's multi-campus infrastructure where scores of bright students have chosen to chart out a future for themselves as seasoned professionals in their myriad disciplines.
SOA University has been placed 20th in the country among the top 100 universities as per the rankings conducted by the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) under the aegis of the Ministry of Human Resource Development in April 2017. It is also the youngest among all universities who have found place in the top twenty of list.
The seed for this educational edifice was sown when visionary educationist Prof. (Dr.) Manojranjan Nayak set up the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER)-- regarded today as one of the finest engineering colleges in the east--- in 1996. Around ITER blossomed other institutions imparting education and providing research opportunities in diverse spheres like medical sciences, dental sciences, management sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, biotechnology, hospitality and tourism management, nursing, law and agriculture.
A beautiful bouquet was gifted to the community of academics and the people of Odisha on July 17, 2007 as the SOA University came into existence. It was the day when the HRD Ministry conferred on it the status of a Deemed to be University under section 3 of the UGC Act, 1956.
The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), which has termed the University as socially inclusive, has reaccredited it with 'A' Grade. Faculty members of different disciplines have made significant publications in scholarly peer reviewed high impact international journals and today many departments are engaged in undertaking innovative research projects in emerging areas.
The University's Multidisciplinary Research Cell and Micro-mechanical System (MEMS) Design Centre (with IISc collaboration) are engaged in exemplary research activities such as RF Mems, Bio Mems, Signal Analysis, Embedded System, Video Surveillance, Bio Medical Signal and Image Analysis. The commitment to quality research has received a boost with the establishment of the Centre of Excellence in Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences (CETMS), its objective being advancement of research in frontier areas of science including High Energy Physics, Condensed Matter Physics and various branches of pure and applied Mathematics. The same commitment and emphasis on research has again come to the fore with the unveiling of the Centre for Bio-Mechanical Sciences as a joint collaboration between the three faculties of engineering and technology, medical sciences and dental sciences. This centre has engaged itself in the study of biological systems such as humans, animals, plants, organs and cells by deploying mechanics and involving the application of engineering mechanics to biological and medical systems. An ultra-modern incubation facility has also been created.
The University has identified 18 thrust areas for which 10 research and field centres besides 29 research labs––15 of them in engineering–– have been set up. It runs 58 post-graduate programs. SOA University has over 3100 SCOPUS Indexed research publications to its credit so far and an H Index of 35.
The Institute of Medical Sciences and Sum Hospital (IMSSH), the faculty of medical sciences of the university with 750-beds, aims at high quality medical education imparted by top-class teachers, and health care by deploying excellent modern and advanced diagnostic, surgical, life saving equipment and best medical facilities for the patients at affordable cost. The state-of-the-art hospital has also set up an Emergency Medicine department equipped with ventilator as well as MRI and CT scan facilities. The hospital boasts of a Pain Clinic, a Geriatric Clinic and a dedicated Burns Management facility incorporating a skin bank–– all path-breaking ventures in the state.
The hospital has been drawing large number of patients who come to its super-speciality departments manned by highly qualified and experienced doctors. The hospital broke new ground when its hematology department conducted the first ever Bone Marrow Transplantation in Odisha.
The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), which operates at the IMSSH, is fully equipped to deal with all kinds of infertility issues under one roof and is run by a trained team led by an eminent expert in the field. The hospital has also added a comprehensive Oncology department where diagnosis and management, including advanced surgery are conducted at the most affordable cost with follow-up treatment available for patients.
All the institutes have excellent infrastructure while the libraries comprise of Indian/foreign books and journals besides e-Library facility. They boast of a meritorious talent pool of over 1100 faculty members. The University is spread across 2.5 million square feet of built up area housing its various facilities with new arenas coming up to promote sports.
The University has signed a slew of MoUs with overseas universities for research collaboration and exchange of ideas and experiences. MoUs have been signed with the Dongseo University, Busan, South Korea, Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Cambodia University for Specialties, Phnom Penh, Daffodil International University, Dhaka, Salahuddin University, Arbil, Iraq, University of Transport, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Rajmangala University of Technology, Phra Nakhon, Thailand and University of Texas, USA. The areas of cooperation include joint research activities, exchange of research scientists and faculty members, exchange of students and credits, exchange of academic materials and other information, participation in seminars and academic meetings and special short-term training programs. Signing of an MoU with Aarhus University of Denmark is expected this year.
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