Prof. Basant Kumar Behura
Name: Prof. Basant Kumar Behura
Designation: Retired Professor
Qualification: M Sc, Calcutta Univ., Ph. D.
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Prof. B. K. Behura (19.02.1922 – 16.02.2015) was the founding father of the Post Graduate Department of Zoology. He joined the Department in 1960, and became her first professor in 1961. He was the architect of the Department, started the wildlife specialization in Zoology (first course on wildlife in India), along with many firsts for the state and shaped the zoological research in Odisha. He was the Head of the Department for a long time; besides being the Warden, P G Hostels; Chairperson, P G Council; and Director, College Development Council. After superannuation in 1982, he was the visiting professor at Meerut University, UP (1985-86) and Dibrugarh University, Assam (1986-90). He has published 221 research papers and ably guided 10 Ph D and one D Sc students. His first Ph D student, Mr William Authory Zilka, came all the way from USA to work under him. He also worked in the British Museum, London for a brief period and in the then Ravenshaw College as a lecturer from 1950 to 1960. Prof. Behura has served on several national and professional organizations, notable being the Sectional President in Entomology and Fisheries at the 65 th ISCA (Ahmedabad, 1978), General President of Zoology at 67 th Indian Science Congress (Bhopal, 1980), and Treasurer and Secretary General of the Zoological Society of India. He discovered a species of insect (Granthakita cuttckae) and was honoured through the naming of two animals following his surname (Gameo behuri and Dactynotus behuri).

Prof. Behura was a prolific popular science writer and spent his life time in popularizing science. He was the Editor: Prakruti – Utkal University J. of Science (1962-82) and Pranikee – J Zoological Society of Orissa. Four of his books namely Odishara benga, Odishara sapa, Dinosaur and Vanya prava, among 100s authoured by him, on either a state or national award. Some of his notable awards include Samanta Chandrasekhar Award (1987), Nandighosh Award (1990), Pranakrushna Puraskara (2000), the Biju Patnaik Award for wildlife conservation (2008), Kalinga Samman (2013), Sir Dorab Tata Gold Medal of ZSI, and NCERT National Award.