Covid-19 test mandatory to attend Utkal University convocation

BHUBANESWAR: The premier Utkal University on Wednesday decided that it will allow participants with Covid-19 negative report to attend its 50th convocation ceremony on April 3 and pre-convocation award giving ceremony on April 1. It has started...

Covid-19 test mandatory to attend Utkal University convocation
BHUBANESWAR: The premier Utkal University on Wednesday decided that it will allow participants with Covid-19 negative report to attend its 50th convocation ceremony on April 3 and pre-convocation award giving ceremony on April 1. It has started conducting Covid tests of participants including teachers, students and staff in the campus from Wednesday.

The university has taken this decision after witnessing spurt in Covid positive cases in different educational institutions of the state. As the convocation ceremony will be attended by vice president Venkaiah Naidu, this institution wants to ensure that Covid infection should not be spread to anybody. He is scheduled to arrive at the university at around 10.20am on Saturday.


“A maximum of 500 participants will be allowed in the convocation hall. All faculty/staff and students who will be in close proximity of the stage will undergo RT-PCR tests and rest of the staff and students will undergo rapid antigen tests,” said an official statement of the university.

Sabita Acharya, vice chancellor of the university, said the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has started Covid testing of the participants at the university health centre. “Our convention hall has 3000 seats, but we are allowing as many as 500 participants to maintain enough social distancing,” she added.

She also appealed everybody not to create any rumour regarding Covid cases in the university. “We are taking all appropriate steps to keep the campus Covid-free,” she added.

The university will confer honorary degree (honoris causa DLitt) on five noted personalities at the convocation ceremony to be held on April 3. They are Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das, comptroller and auditor general of India Girish Chandra Murmu, Orissa high court judge justice Sanju Panda, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre director and nuclear physicist Ajit Kumar Mohanty and Odisha Adarsha Vidyalaya Sangathan (OAVS) advisor Bijaya Sahoo.


Murmu, who is also the chairman of the panel of external auditors of the United Nations, has completed his post-graduation in political science from Utkal University.
University will award PhD degrees to 41 scholars and gold medals to 90 students for this year’s convocation. Awardees were advised to register their names before attending the function.
Due to Covid situation, the university could not hold its convocation ceremony last year. It will hold an award giving ceremony on April 1 to award DLitt/PhD degrees to 130 scholars and gold medals to 90 students for the previous year’s convocation (academic session 2018-19). Last convocation of the university was conducted on March 29, 2019.
Among others, Odisha governor Ganeshi Lal and higher education minister Arun Kumar Sahoo will also attend the ceremony.