Odisha, a land rich in all aspects, is known worldwide as a piligrimage destination, with beautiful beaches, majestic temples, abundent in art and culture but was lacking in infrastructure and facilities. This drove affluent students migrate to universities in other states or countries to pursue careers in professional courses. This visionary, while focusing on quality research, decided to make professional education accessible to students across the region.

Being a profound believer of education, he always felt the need for quality educational institutions in Odisha where students could get access to the best available pedagogy in the country. This determination led him to establish, Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan (SOA), founded as a charitable society to enable students of the state to have access to quality education.

He is Prof. Dr. Manoranjan Nayak. His brain child SOA is now a huge university with nine institutions, providing education in various streams to over 10,000 students from Odisha, India and abroad. SOA, in spite of facing numerous difficulties and obstacles in its endeavour to develop as a multi-disciplinary institution of higher education focusing on quality education and focused research, has continuously figured among the top 25 universities in the country for the last four years.

The SOA Charitable Trust established by Prof Dr Nayak, has also set up a 350 bed hospital, the SUM Ultimate Medicare, which is a multi-super specialty facility committed to make available healthcare infrastructure of international standard to the people of Odisha and neighbouring states. The IMS and SUM Hospital, has grown to be one of the state’s biggest hospitals recording a daily footfall of around 3000 patients.

An exemplary teacher turned entreprenour, Dr Nayak’s love for education and philanthrophy gets reflected in SOA that has taken shape as a shining edifice of
higher education in eastern India today. We at VARINDIA proudly honour this visionary as the Crown Jewels of Odisha.

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