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Commemorative coins on “Biju Patnaik Birth Centenary 1916-2016”

March 18, 2016 Published by admin

Commemorative coins on  “Biju Patnaik Birth Centenary 1916-2016”

Governor S C Jamir and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik releases two commemorative coins of Rupees 100 and Rupees 5 denomination, as part of birth centenary celebrations of former chief minister of Orissa  Biju Patnaik, at a function organised by Information and Public Relation (I&PR) department at Jayadev Bhavan Bhubaneswar on 5th march, 2016. Among others Tourism and Culture minister Ashok Panda, Health minister Atanu Sabya Sachi Nayak, MP Prassana Patasani, MLA Priyadarshi Mishra, Bijay Mohany and secretary of I & PR department were also present during the programme.

biju patnayak pic

Bijayananda Patnaik, popularly known as Biju Patnaik (5 March 1916 – 17 April 1997) was an politician and Chief Minister of Odisha for two terms.

He was educated at Ravenshaw College in Odisha but due to his interest in aviation he dropped out and trained as a pilot. At the start of the Second World War he joined the Royal Indian Air Force eventually becoming head of air transport command.

Biju Patnaik met with Jawaharlal Nehru during his participation in Indian freedom struggle and became one of his trusted friends. Nehru viewed the freedom struggle of the Indonesian people as parallel to that of India, and viewed Indonesia as a potential ally. When the Dutch attempted to quell Indonesian independence on 21 July 1947, President Sukarno ordered Sjahrir, the former prime minister of Indonesia, to leave the country to attend the first Inter-Asia Conference, organised by Nehru, in July 1947 and to foment international public opinion against the Dutch. Sjahrir was unable to leave as the Dutch controlled the Indonesian sea and air routes. Nehru asked Biju Patnaik, who was adventurous and an expert pilot, to rescue Sjahrir. Biju Patnaik and his wife flew to Java and brought Sultan Sjahrir out on a Dakota reaching India via Singapore on 24 July 1947. For this act of bravery, Patnaik was given honorary citizenship in Indonesia and awarded the ‘Bhoomi Putra’, the highest Indonesian award, rarely granted to a foreigner. In 1996, when Indonesia was celebrating its 50th Independence Day, Biju Patnaik was awarded the highest national award, the ‘Bintang Jasa Utama’.

Shortly after independence Pakistani tribesman invaded Kashmir and at Nehru’s request he helped airlift the first Indian soldiers into Srinagar. Biju Patnaik piloted the first plane that left Palam Airport at Delhi on 27 October 1947 at dawn and landed at Srinagar Airport in the early morning. He brought 17 soldiers of 1-Sikh regiment commanded by Lt.Col. Dewan Ranjit Rai

Patnaik’s political ideals were centred in socialism and federalism. His strong advocacy for equal resources to all Indian states who needed such, made him a champion of his Oriya constituents.

In 1946 Patnaik was elected uncontested to the Odisha Legislative Assembly from North Cuttack constituency. In 1952 and 1957 he won from Jagannath Prasad and Surada, respectively. In 1961 he assumed the presidency of the state Congress. Under his leadership, the Congress Party won 82 of 140 seats and Patnaik (representing Chowdwar constituency) became the chief minister of Odisha on 23 June 1961 and remained in the position until 2 October 1963 when he resigned from the post under the Kamaraj Plan to revitalise the Congress party. He was the Chief Minister of Odisha at the age of 45.

Patnaik was close to Indira Gandhi who took over the Congress Party in 1967. However, they clashed in 1969 over the Presidential election. He left the Congress and formed a regional party; the Utkal Congress. In the 1971 assembly poll, his party did reasonably well. Patnaik then re-established contact with his old friend Jayaprakash Narayan and plunged into the JP movement as it picked up momentum in 1974. When the Emergency was declared in 1975, Biju Patnaik was one of the first to be arrested along with other opposition leaders.

He was released in 1977. Later, in the same year, he was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time from Kendrapara and became Union minister for steel and mines in both the Morarji Desai and the Charan Singh governments until 1979. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha again in 1980 and 1984 from Kendrapara as Janata Party candidate despite the Congress wave in 1984 following Indira Gandhi’s death. With the Congress defeat in 1989, he bounced back into the political limelight. However, after playing a key behind-the-scenes role in manoeuvring V.P.Singh to the Prime Minister’s post, he again chose to go back to Odisha, and prepared for the assembly election. In 1990 state assembly election, the Janata Dal received a thumping majority (two third assembly seats) which saw Biju Patnaik being the Chief Minister of Odisha for the second time until 1995.

He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 from Cuttack and Aska constituencies as a Janata Dal candidate. He retained the latter until his death on 17 April 1997 of cardio-respiratory failure.



Details of coins:

Mint: India Government Mint, Kolkata (A Unit of Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Ltd.)


Lion Capitol of Ashoka Pillar in the center with the legend Satyamev Jayate and Denomination 100/ 5 along-with Rupee Symbol below.


Portrait of Dr. Biju Patnaik with the inscription “Biju Patnaik Birth Centenary” in English and Devnagari and year 1916-2016 be inscribed below the portrait.

Denomination  : Rs. 100

Metal                    : Quaternary Alloy (Silver 50 %, Copper 40 %, Nickel 5 % & Zinc 5 %)

Weight                 : 35 gms

Diameter             : 44mm

Shape                   : Circular

Edge                      : Milled (200 Serration)


Denomination  : Rs. 5

Metal                    : Nickel-Brass

Weight                 : 6gm

Diameter             : 23mm

Shape                   : Circular

Edge                      :  milled