Until 1936, when Odisha was made into a separate province, all its colleges were under the jurisdiction of either Patna University or Andhra University. Subsequently, the government of Odisha, headed by Shri Biswanath Dash, the then Prime Minister; appointed a committee on 2nd March 1938 with Pandit Nilakantha Das as its Chairman to examine the possibility of establishing a separate university in Odisha. Then, during the premiership of Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, who played a pioneering role in the establishment of the University, the recommendations of this committee were made available. Pandit Godavarish Mishra, the then Minister of Education, introduced the Utkal University Bill, which was passed by the Odisha Legislative Assembly on 30th June 1943. On receiving the Governor's assent on 2nd August 1943, the Utkal University Act, 1943 came into force, clearing the way for the foundation of Utkal University on 27th November 1943. The University started functioning from this date in room no. 15 of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack. The Utkal University Act, 1943 did not specify clearly the territorial jurisdiction of the University. However, its jurisdiction was extended to include the princely states of Odisha by an agreement between the rulers of these princely states and the Government of Odisha. According to the agreement, adequate representation of the princely states in the administrative and academic bodies of the University was ensured. The Utkal University Act, 1943 was amended in 1947 defining the territorial jurisdiction of the University, which was subsequently extended to the whole state of Odisha in 1950. Dr. Pranakrushna Parija, the then Principal of Ravenshaw College, Cuttack was the first Vice-Chancellor of the University, and Mr. V. V. John, the then Assistant Professor of English, Ravenshaw College was its first Registrar.