Students with an artistic hand, here comes a good news for you! You can virtually now learn the art of making sculptures on sand from internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarshan Pattnaik.

The artist’s vision of teaching the sand art with an online course will soon be materialized with the support of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

"I had been waiting for their response for over a year and now they have given me assurance that the course will begin in March 2018," Sudarshan was quoted as saying by PTI.

Saying that the course is meant for upcoming sand artists, Sudarshan said the videos in his course design will have all details on how to make the art on sand step-by-step.

"I want to give a platform to upcoming sand artists. I have submitted the course design and syllabus and now will fine tune this,” he said, adding, “The videos will have all the details and step-by-step procedure of making sculptures in sand."

Sudarshan said that there are many artists like him in the state but they are not able to harness their skills due to the absence of the required academic background.

“Several brilliant sand artists lag behind due to the absence of the required academic background,” he said, adding, “This course will be very fruitful for them."

"Sand art is essentially a practical art and the more you practice, the more you learn,” he added.

The online course will be launched in March 2018 and will be world's first certificate course in sand art.

"It has been decided that the course will begin before March 31, 2018. We have already started work on it and video lectures have been prepared,” IGNOU senior regional director Shrikant Mohapatra said.

"It has to be fine-tuned as per MOOC'S (massive open online courses) norms," Shrikant added.

According to reports, Uma Kanjilal of MOOC visited Bhubaneshwar on December 18 and finalised the modalities with the artist.

The artist, who is already running an open air Golden Sand Art Institute at Puri beach to impart professional training in sand art, said that the initiative should be taken by a government institute like IGNOU to have a larger impact.

"I have many offers from private universities but I wanted to start with IGNOU, because it will have a wider reach," he said. 

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