Purusottam Nayak, son of late Adikanda Nayak, was born on 27th
January 1959 in Juania, a village in the Aul Development Block of Kendrapara district in the State of Odisha. He had his schooling in Godabarisha Vidya Bhawan, Govindpur. After his schooling he studied in N.C. College, Jajpur and was awarded his I.A and B.A (Honours in Economics with Distinction) degrees under Utkal University
, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He completed his M.A. degree in 1981 from Ravenshaw College, presently known as Ravenshaw University
at Cuttack. Subsequently he was awarded Ph.D degree from IIT Kharagpur
, West Bengal in 1988.
After completing his studies Dr. Nayak served as a research and extension staff for about three and half years in the Post Harvest Technology Centre, IIT Kharagpur and then joined Tripura University, Agartala as Lecturer in Economics in 1989 and served the University for about five and half years. In 1994 he joined as Reader in the Department of Economics in Assam University, Silchar and after serving there for seven years he joined North-Eastern Hill University [NEHU], Shillong, Meghalaya in 2001 and became Professor in the Department of Economics in 2002. The Department under the School of Economics, Management and Information Sciences [SEMIS] is currently ranked 10th among more than 80 Institutions/ Departments of Economics in India by IDEAS/RePEc.
Prof. Nayak though started his academic profession with research interest in the area of Disguised Unemployment and Underemployment in Agriculture, subsequently he extensively worked on many development issues of North-East India. Currently he is working in the area of Human Development and Women Empowerment.
To his credit he has published a number of research papers in national and international journals including presentations in seminars and conferences. He has written and edited four books of which one is published by Oxford University Press. He has also undertaken research projects and guided M Phil and PhD scholars. He is associated with few journals as Referee.