“A Global Classroom”, SOA University

“A Global Classroom”, SOA University

Siksha ‘O’ Ansusandhan Deemed to be University, nestled in the heart of Bhubaneswar, has transcended its humble origins to emerge as a beacon of excellence. Odisha, once burdened with the tag of an economically challenged state with low literacy rates, witnessed a disheartening trend as aspiring students, financially able to do so, migrated elsewhere for professional education due to the lack of comparable facilities within the state.

Enter the visionary, Prof. (Dr.) Manojranjan Nayak, who refused to accept this status quo. In 1996-97, he laid the foundation for the Institute of Technical Education and Research (ITER) in Bhubaneswar, a fledgling engineering institute that started with a modest enrollment of 116 students in a diminutive building.

Since those early days, there has been an unwavering momentum. Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA) has consistently secured its position among the top 25 universities in the country, as evidenced by its steadfast presence in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) for the past four years. The university, often referred to as SOA, tirelessly pursues the founder’s vision of making high-quality professional education accessible to students across the region while maintaining an unyielding commitment to groundbreaking research.

SOA has invested heavily in providing quality infrastructure, faculty members, and facilities, all of which are necessary for an institution to provide quality education and research opportunities. The university also has a strong alumni network that provides mentorship and guidance to students, as well as access to job opportunities. Furthermore, SOA focuses on providing a comprehensive curriculum that prepares its students for the ever-evolving job market.

Professor Manoj Nayak, an advocate for education, recognized the imperative need for top-notch educational institutions in Odisha. Armed with an electrical engineering degree from the Regional Engineering College (now NIT) at Rourkela, an M.Tech in Computer Science from IIT Kharagpur, and a doctorate from the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), Bhubaneswar, he transitioned from being a professor at OUAT to a dedicated edupreneur.

Under his leadership, SOA has sprouted ten institutions covering a spectrum of disciplines, including engineering and technology, medical sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, dental sciences, management sciences, hospitality and tourism management, nursing, legal studies, agricultural sciences, veterinary sciences, and animal husbandry.

The university boasts a string of accomplishments, including reaccreditation by the NAAC with an ‘A’ Grade. The Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital (IMS and SH), a part of SOA’s medical sciences faculty, has earned accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Health Care Providers, securing the 21st rank among medical colleges in the country according to NIRF.

The IMS and SUM Hospital, evolving into one of the state’s largest with 1000 beds, witnesses a daily influx of around 3000 patients. SOA proudly holds the title of the first private university in eastern India to establish an agriculture college, accredited by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Presently, under the expansive SOA umbrella, nine institutions cater to over 10,000 students, including those hailing from six different countries, pursuing diverse courses ranging from engineering and technology to law. Despite the remarkable strides, Professor Manoj Nayak, a man of understated demeanor, consistently encouraged faculty, researchers, administrators, and all stakeholders to contribute their best for the university’s growth.

Adding to its philanthropic endeavors, the SOA Charitable Trust has established the SUM Ultimate Medicare, a 350-bed quaternary care hospital. This avant-garde healthcare facility is poised to provide international-standard healthcare infrastructure, not only to the people of Odisha but also to those in neighboring states.

In the galaxy of educational institutions, Siksha ‘O’ Ansusandhan Deemed to be University stands as a testament to visionary leadership, unyielding dedication to excellence, and a commitment to shaping a brighter future for students in the region. It is like a lighthouse guiding ships through the stormy seas, providing a beacon of hope and direction for those who travel there.

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