A Brief History of the Unitary University

This more than a century old, Khallikote Unitary University has been an important center of learning in South Odisha and one among the two premier educational institutions in the state. It has a name at the national level for its academic achievements.

The College began as a Zilla school in 1856 and attained the status of an Intermediate College with the name of ‘Union College’ with the addition of F.A. Classes in 1878. It was renamed as Native College in 1887 with a student strength of 127 and 12 members of staff. The medium of instruction was English. The college faced an acute financial crisis around 1893. The Managing Committee, headed by the District Magistrate, A.WB. Higgins. ICS, approached the late Raja Saheb Harihar Mardaraj Deo of Khallikote who generously donated liberal amounts and later created an endowment with a lakh of rupees. As a fitting tribute to the magnanimity of the late Raja Saheb, a resolution was adopted at a public meeting on 16th August 1893 to rename the college as Khallikote College. After the death of the Raja Saheb his son, the late Rama Chandra Mardaraj was made President of the Managing Committee who continued the practice of donating large sums of money as occasions arose to keep the college functioning. The Raja Saheb of Dharakote, Late Madan Mohan Singh Deo donated Rs. 10,000/- for construction and equipment of laboratory in 1910, not a small gesture at that time.

The building of the present Khallikote Junior College came up in 1896 and the Victoria Memorial Hostel for girl students (now renamed Jhansi Rani Hostel) was constructed in 1904 with the help of a donation of Rs. 10,000/- by the Raja Saheb of Badakhemundi. There was a remarkable growth in the infrastructure of the college during the first two decades of the 20th century including the requisition of the present playground in 1913. Degree classes were begun in 1944 and the college became affiliated to Utkal University the same year. The Late Lingaraj Panigrahi, the former Chief Justice of Orissa High Court and former Education Minister of the State, became the Vice President of the Managing Committee at whose initiative the present two storeyed panigrahi Extension Block was built. The Late Brundaban Nayak, a dynamic leader of the state and a former Minister became Vice president in 1963 whose persistent efforts resulted in opening of post graduate classes in the college. Classes in Economics, Commerce and Chemistry and later in English and Mathematics were begun, The Commerce Economics, block and the Science block came up during his tenure. The three-storeyed building presenting the front view was constructed in 1979. The Centenary Building and the Life Science Block with four galleries were added in 1982.

A new era in the history of the College began with the take over of the college management by the Government in 1971. Interestingly, the college had passed from Government control into private management way back in 1880 and it again went back into Government hands in 1971. Teaching provisions in a number of Honours and Post-Graduate courses were introduced thereafter. The College currently has nineteen undergraduate and fourteen Post Graduate Departments and M.Phi courses in Mathematics, Economics, Botany and Commerce. A branch of Central Bank of India with ATM facility and a Sub-Post Office with Speed post facility are located in the campus. The college has been granted autonomy since 1990. The college has the rare distinction of being the foremost College of the state in getting ‘A’ Grade by NAAC accreditation on January 2017. In may, 2006 the college has also been accorded the status of CPE College with potential of Excellence by the UGC.

The history of a college is not only the history of its buildings and structure but of its students and teachers. Bright gems like justice B.Jagannath Das a former Judge of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Lingaraj Panigrahi, Justice P. Balakrishna Rao, Late Biswanath Das, Ex-Governor, Vice-Admiral H. L. Sharma and above all Late Dr. V. V. Giri, the former President of India are among its alumni. There are number of luminaries who have contributed to the enrichment of this glorious institution in several ways.

May this institution be a perennial source of knowledge and inspiration to one and all.