Devdas Chhotray

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Devdas Chhotray
First Vice-Chancellor of Ravenshaw University
Devdas Chhotray.JPG
Biju Patnaik Film and Television Institute, Cuttack
Ravenshaw University
Assumed office
15 November 2006
Personal details
Born Cuttack
Residence Cuttack, Odisha, India
Alma mater Ravenshaw College,
Utkal University
Cornell University,
Profession Indian Administrative Service officer, writer

Devdas Chhotray is an Indian Odia author, administrator and academician. He was the first vice-chancellor of Ravenshaw University, Cuttack, Odisha. His work consists of poetry, short stories, lyrics, musicals and screenplays. Chhotray's father Gopal, a recipient of Padma, Central Sahitya Akademi and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, was an architect of modern Odia theatre.

Chhotray's four decades of poetry and lyrics have been translated into Indian and foreign languages, and he has been published in Bengali (in the Sunil Gangopadhyaya-edited Krittibas. He has received the Prajatantra Bisuv Milan and Utkal Samaj Centenary (Gangadhar Meher Samman) Awards and the 2008 Rajdhani Book Fair Award 2008 for poetry. He has written a collection of stories, Lal Machha (Red Fish), the lyrics for more than 75 films in Oriya and television musicals. Chhotray is known for his collaboration with Akshaya Mohanty, a pioneer in modern Oriya music from the 1960s until his death in 2002, as Mohanty's principal songwriter.

He has written screenplays for feature films in Oriya. One, Indradhanura Chhai (Shadows of the Rainbow) was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995.[1]

Chhotray was director of the Orissa Film Development Corporation from 1983–89 and 1996–98, chairman of the publications committee for the fifth International Children’s Film Festival in 1987 and was vice-president of the governing council of the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune from 1999–2001.

In addition to Chhotray's anthologies of poems and stories in Oriya, notably Nila Saraswati (Blue Muse) and Hati Saja Kara (Order the Elephants), English translations of his poems have appeared in Longing (published by Pimlico Books in London). An anthology of his poems in Hindi, Ret Ki Sidhi (A Staircase of Sand) has been published in Delhi.

Chhotray was educated at Ravenshaw College (now Ravenshaw University) and Cornell University. After joining the Indian Administrative Service in 1971, he worked in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and New Delhi. In 2006 Chhotray became the first vice-chancellor of Ravenshaw University, obtained UGC approval for the school in six months.[2]


  1. ^ "Indradhanura Chhai". Festival de Cannes. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ravenshaw University in two years under the leadership of VC Devdas Chhotray". Odisha HRD. 17 November 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 

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