The Biju Patnaik Research Chair in collaboration with Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), KISS-DU organized a seminar on “Biju Patnaik and the Making of Modern India” to mark the 108th Birth Anniversary of Shri Biju Patnaik on 5th March 2024. The occasion was graced by Professor Himanshu S. Patnaik Eminent Historian, Dr. Damodar Tripathy International Development Economist, Shri Dilip Kumar Samantray, IRAS, Managing Director, Angul-Sukinda Railway Ltd, Dr. Chittaranjan Mishra, Eminent Scientist and Shri Saroj Kumar Dash, Director Social Projects, KIIT & KISS were invited as esteemed speakers on the occasion.

The Welcome Address was delivered by Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice Chancellor, KISS-DU and Professor Jugal Kishore Mishra, Chair Professor Biju Patnaik Research Chair and Director IQAC, KISS-DU highlighted the theme of the seminar.

Professor Himanshu S. Patnaik in his address spoke about the early life of Shri Biju Patnaik. He said that he was a man of action, a model of integrity amidst the depressive waywardness of his times, who inspires as a man of dynamic action, who challenges negativity in all its manifestations, who epitomizes courage and forbearance under difficult circumstances and who expostulates the mass consciousness in a tone of authority to give shape to the collective psyche while accepting the admiration of millions with child-like humility. Dr. Damodar tripathy in his address shared his experience of meeting Shri Biju Patnaik. He shared Biju Babu’s development vision for the state. He envisioned Odisha as a developed state and its youth as the harbinger of development. Capital formation was the key. According to Biju Babu effective utilization of created new capital through engagement of the educated skilled youth for productivity enhancement was the main anchor of development process.

Speaking in turn, Shri Dilip Kumar Samantray spoke volumes about his versatile skills. He was a great visionary, a daredevil pilot, frontline freedom fighter, a dynamic Chief Minister and above all an architect of modern Odisha. Talking about the memorable bicycle journey, wherein in the call for adventure that inspired him to embark upon an adventurous bicycle journey from Cuttack to Peshawar in 1932. He along with two friends Bhramarabara Sahu and Amar De pedaled a distance of 4500 miles on a ‘Visit India Mission’ and his transition to full-time politics. Dr. Chittaranjan Mishra stated that perhaps no other leader occupied the imagination of the people of Odisha as Biju Patnaik did. He navigated the four immutably fixed stars of his convictions-national unity, democracy, secularism and the end of imperialism. Sir Julian Huxely, UNESCO’s first Director General and also a Kalinga Prize winner, had described Biju Patnaik as a “remarkable Indian whose adventures would fill a book”.

Shri Saroj Kumar Dash stressed on how the times have been changing and it has been changing fast. Biju Patnaik captured the popular imagination of the people of Odisha and went on to become a legendary figure whose shadows till looms large in the state. He underscored how Biju Babu brought in changes, social movements and contributed in the freedom struggles and came to limelight as a daring pilot who could take any risk.

Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-Du proposed the Vote of Thanks on the occasion and expressed his gratefulness to those who contributed to the success of the event.