Union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan (left) confers the Gangadhar National Award for Poetry-2013 on Soubhagya Kumar Mishra at Sambalpur University on Saturday. Telegraph picture
Sambalpur, Jan. 3: Sambalpur University today conferred the Gangadhar National Award for Poetry-2013 on eminent Odia poet Soubhagya Kumar Mishra on the occasion of the 48th foundation day of the institution.
Named after Odisha's famous poet Gangadhar Meher, the award is given to a poet of national repute every year on the varsity's foundation day.
Minister of petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pardhan, who was the chief guest on the occasion, conferred the award on Mishra.
Mishra said: "Gangadhar Meher is a great poet, and his contribution to the Indian tradition and literature is unparalleled." He also said Meher represented the great Odia poetic tradition.
Earlier, eminent poets such as Alli Sardar Zafri, Kedar Nath Singh, Ayyapa Panikar, Shakti Chottopadhyaya, K. Sachidanandan, Dillip Chitre, Jayanta Mohapatra, Gulzar, Nabakanta Barua, A.M.K. Shahryar, Nirupama Kaur, Binda Karandikar, Haraprasad Dash, Ramakant Rath, Surjit Patar, Rajendra Kishore Panda, Balraj Komal and Vasdev Mohi have received this award for their excellence in the field of poetry.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Pradhan said: "This region of the state has immense potential and opportunities. Sambalpur University should take the lead in making way for developing the skill of the people of this region."
Former vice-chancellor of Biju Patnaik University of Technology Omkar Nath Mohanty attended event as the guest of honour. He said: "The most important element of education is faculty. The university has a responsibility to instil a sense of pride among its faculty members." He also stressed on student-centric education and collaborative research as the VSS Medical College and the Veer Surendra Sai University of Technology are close by.
"The gurukul system of education was great. However, today the world requires student-centric education system," he said.
The university also felicitated the eminent Sambalpuri poet, Haldhar Nag, for his contribution in the field of the folk poetry on this occasion.
Vice-chancellor C.R. Tripathy delivered the welcome address and registrar K. Manseth read out the annual report. The retired teaching and non-teaching staff members, too, were felicitated.