Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 12:
A group of Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) alumni has vehemently protested the move of the university administration to change the name of their alma mater after Biju Patnaik, the former chief minister of Odisha.
“OUAT is the second oldest Agricultural University in India. Since its inception in 1962, the university has been recognized nationally and internationally for its research and education. The university has received the best agricultural university award from the prime minister for its academic excellence this year. Considering the above, why the University authorities are in a hurry to change the name of the university that has earned worldwide reputation under its brand name?” asked ‘Save OUAT Forum’, a group formed by alumni, in a release today.
Challenging the move of the university authorities, convenor of the Forum Sanjay Das said if the OUAT administration is keen to enhance the popularity of the university, it must focus on quality research and education instead of indulging in dirty politics.
“Nobody is questioning the calibre of Biju Pattnaik. He was not only a great son of Odisha, but his contribution has been recognized world over. In memory of the luminary, a large number of development programmes are already running by the state government while the Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) has already been established in our state. When one institute is bearing the name of our state Odisha, what is the necessity of changing its name? It seems some people with a vested interest are trying to appease the government for their personal gains”, Das said.
Stating that the entire alumni, staff and students of OUAT are against this unilateral decision of the university authorities, he said some of the alumni members have taken up the matter with the university vice chancellor and submitted a memorandum.
He warned that the Forum would be forced to hit the streets if the OUAT administration will stick to its decision of changing the name of the university.