Prez Pranab to arrive today

Bhubaneswar: Odisha is all geared up to welcome President Pranab Mukherjee, who is scheduled to arrive here on Wednesday on a two-day visit to grace the 45th convocation of Utkal University as the chief guest.

In the wake of his visit, the 70-yr old varsity is leaving no stone unturned to welcome the country’s first citizen who will be on his maiden visit to the state after assuming the office of the President of India in July last year.

While buildings are getting fresh coats of paint, wild growths and encroachments around the campus are being cleared.

This year’s convocation is of special significance as present campus of the university completes 50 years of its existence. On this occasion, the varsity would take up the issue to seek central tag from President.

According to sources, an estimated Rs 54 lakh is being spent for the grand occasion, while the State Government is undertaking all developmental works in the campus.

PG council chairman Prafulla Mishra said, around 227 persons will receive PhDs and the President would give away gold medals to 97 students.

The Utkal University has also decided to confer Honorary Doctorate Degrees to three eminent personalities- spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, neurosurgeon Sanatan Rath and former Odisha High Court judge Justice R.K Patra during the occasion here. Odisha Crime Branch ADG Bijay Kumar Sharma will receive gold medal for scoring the highest mark in Legal Jurisprudence paper of LLB exam.

The president is scheduled to visit Puri Jagannath temple after the convocation and stay for sometime at the Rajbhaban. Special arrangements have been made by the temple administration to make a hassle-free visit.

Similarly adequate security provisions are also being put in place by the Commissionerate Police. Officials said, 30 platoons of security personnel would be deployed in the city during the first citizen’s visit.

The President will arrive at the Bhubaneswar airport tomorrow at about 7.40 pm and spend the night at the Raj Bhavan.

Odisha Governor S C Jamir will host the state banquet at Raj Bhavan in honour of the President. On Thursday he will attend the varsity convocation.