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Ancient Odisha was a confluence of cultures of different races. In this holy land, assimilation of the cultures of the Austrics, the Drvidians and the Aryans took place. Geographically, Odisha provides a culture corridor that connects the North with the South.

The sea-faring activities and maritime glory made it the most attractive destination of the eastern coast of India. Successive tides from all sides surged up, rolled in and broke over this land culminating in cultural synthesis. This passage over ages transcended the traditional vision of culture.

Culture in its essence is viewed here as ways of loving together.

Odisha has a unique distinction of acting as a confluence of diverse faiths by striking harmony amongst religious faiths from animism, fetishism, shamanism, ancestore worship to highly evolved froms of religions like Brahminism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Chiristianity and Mahima Dharma.

Vaishnavism, Saivism, Saivism, Sakta , Ganapatya, Sour-all forms of Brahminic worship are conceived in the wonderful matrix of the great and grand cult of jagannath that embraces in its grandeur quintessences of different religions signifying world-view. The Oriya literature contained this world-view in its essence;

"Let my lie rot in hell"

But be the world saved’’ –(Bhima Bhoi)

These lines of the saint poet Bhima Bhoi express sentiments of self-sacrifice and selflessness for the well-being of the world at large. Through centuries, the state retained its cultural identity within the mainstream of pan-India culture. Odisha is a land of rich and diverse artistic achievements. Its ageless art and flourishing cultural are the products of a long historical process.Spiritual, philosophical, professional and human dimensions are merged into the process to yield finest efforts of cultural life. Against this background, Odisha Justifiable pioneered the establishment of the first ever University of culture of the country.

Genesis

The Utkal University of culture came into existence by virtue of an ordinance promulgated on the 9 June, 1999, which was later replaced by "Utkal University of culture Act 1999’’. It was established as a teaching-cum-affiliating university. It was set up in order to engage itself to preserve, promote, propagate and protect the richness of our cultural values by way of making substantive accomaplishment through study, research, documentation and continuing education. The University was recognized by the University Grants Commission (UGC) on 1 December, 1999, under Sction 2(f) of the U.G.C Act, 1956. It has also been accredited by the Association of India Universities (ATU) since 1 April 2000.

Mission

The University seeks to spread the benefits of culture and education The mission is to evolve policies and programmes which would enable to make the University a distinct one by fostering our composite culture through qualitative expansion of academic studies and researches. Such activities would necessarily focues on various relevant and frontier areas of culture and development. The core objective is to inculcate in the lptureminds of the fiture generation, a world perspective wit h a visible, Perceptible local identity through comprehensive dissemination and arousing of cultural consciousness.

Mandate

Keeping in view the statutory mandate contained in the Act, the salient objectives of the University are outlined as follows:

  • To promote education, research and training in various spheres of culture; such as language, literature, religion, visual arts, performing arts, sculpture, architecture, folklore, tribal studies etc. through development and extension works for the advancement of knowledge and for the betterment of the society.
  • To explore, preserve and propagate the rich cultural heritage through such devices like establishing libraries, archives, galleries, studios, organizing workshops and initiating programmes of publication etc. Besides, comprehensive surveys on matters related to culture would also be conducted.
  • To generate and disseminate learning and promote creative excellence in various spheres of culture, providing the infrastructure for instruction, research and creativity and in particular, to take appropriate measures for promoting interdisciplinary academic and creative pursuits in the University.
  • To promote ethnic studies like ethno-musicology etc. and to promote such other present.
  • To serve as center for fostering co-operation and exchange of ideas among the academic and research communities.
  • To organize exchange programmes through MOU with other institutions of repute in India and abroad.
  • To create facilities for teaching and research on foreign languages.
  • To determine the relationship between culture and development and prepare proposal of both urgent and long term actions to cultural needs in the context of development.
  • To undertake such other activities as may be required to fulfill the objective of the University.
Jurisdiction

The Jurisdiction of the Utkal University of Culture extends to the whole of the State of Odisha . It has the exclusive right to grant affiliation to any college or institution which offers courses or programmes of education, research and training in the field of literary arts, visual and performing arts and in other related areas of culture.

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