KISS Team Selected for the Calahana Cup – All India Rugby Tournament
KISS Humanitarian Award 2010 Conferred on Mauritius President
KISS Girl Selected for Asian Games 2010
UNESCO Recognises KISS
KISS Hockey Team Selected for State Level Women’s Sports Festival 2010-11

KISS Students Selected for Sub Junior National Kabaddi Championship

‘In India, A Top Private University Supports a School for Tribal People’
Source : The Chronicle of Higher Education
KISS Team Selected for the Calahana Cup – All India Rugby Tournament

KISS Senior Boys Rugby Team have left for Chennai today to participate in Calahana Cup–All India Division–2, 15’s 2010 Rugby Tournament, which will be held at Chennai from 20th to 27th November, 2010. KISS Rugby Team has attracted the attention of the world after defeating England, Australia, France and many foreign teams in their previous foreign tour. 22 member Rugby team of KISS have been selected to participate in this tournament.

The name of the selected players are Gouranga Jamuda, Gobinda Baskey, Harish Baskey, Basu Hembram, Muna Murmu, Rajkishore Murmu, Jabes Hajoary, Madhu Chopear, Bukai Hansdah, Kanhu Ch. Hembram, Kishore Nayak, Bikash Ch. Murmu, Rajesh Ku. Barla, Krishna Tudu, Narasingh Kerai, Damodar Murmu, Bhanja Sundhi, Chatrananda Pradhan, Rukmana Bahira, Sahadev Majhi, Debasis Rout and Roshan Xaxa.

Similarly, a boy of KISS, Hadi Dhangada Majhi and a girl Sinigo Hembram have been selected in the ‘56th National School Kabadi Competition’, which is going on at Himachal Pradesh. This news spread a wave of happiness in KISS and congratulation was also extended by KISS to these two students.

KISS Humanitarian Award 2010 Conferred on Mauritius President

The KISS Humanitarian Award 2010 was conferred on Sir Anerood Jugnauth, His Excellency the President of Mauritius for his contribution towards the society. He received the award from Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KISS and KIIT on the occasion of Children's Day celebration at KISS on 14th November 2010. Lady Sarojni Jugnauth, Hon’ble First Lady of Mauritius also graced the occasion. 

KISS Humanitarian Award is conferred every year on great personalities who work for the development of the society. Previous recipients of the award have been Ms Madam Bomo Edna Molewa, Hon'ble Cabinet Minister, (Social Devt) South Africa, National Assembly (2008) and Dr. Ham Kee-Sun, President and Founder, Hanseo University, South Korea (2009).

Receiving the award, the President of Mauritius advocated brotherhood between people of India and Mauritius. Sir Jugnauth, who is of Indian origin, said that people of Mauritius have high regard for Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi. He also addressed 12,000 students of KISS and commended Dr. Samanta for taking initiative for the development of tribals through education.

He advised the students to be patriotic for the country, while calling upon teachers to ensure that the students pass out as good citizens. Value based education was a moral obligation he added. Addressing the students of KISS on the occasion of children's day he said education sans values did not mean much. Over the years there have been serious erosion of values in society. What Mauritius is today is principally because of its strong education base, he said.

Reminiscing the British rule days, he said when Mauritius was a colony and injustice was inflicted on the locals, Mahatma Gandhi never forgot them. Gandhiji had sent Manilal Maganlal Doctor to Mauritius who represented Indo-Mauritians in the courts.

He said Gandhiji had stopped at Mauritius on his way from South Africa to India to visited the colony. After Manilal arrived he first established community schools. Today Mauritius provides education free of cost till University level. He added children will be leaders of tomorrow and it is duty of the Government to make them healthy and responsible human beings, while education is mandatory till the age of sixteen. The Government recently decided to make transport free. He said the Republic would never forget what India and Gandhiji did for the emancipation of the people.

First couple of Mauritius mingled with the 12000 students of KISS & went round the campus and lauded the initiative to provide a total education atmosphere by its Founder Secretary, Achyuta Samanta and his team.

Dr. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS expressed his sincere thanks and gratitude to Sir Anerood Jugnauth, His Excellency the President of Mauritius and Lady Sarojni Jugnauth, Hon’ble First Lady of Mauritius. On the occasion Dr. Samanta said His Excellency Sir Jugnauth was the first President of a country other than India to visit the campus. Among others, Mrs. Saswati Bal, President of KISS & KIIT, Prof. A. S. Kolaskar, VC, KIIT and Dr. P.K. Das, Director of Livelihood, KISS were present.

Later in the evening, Sir Anerood Jugnauth was felicitated at a special Public Felicitation ceremony organized in his honour at Jayadev Bhawan.

KISS Girl Selected for Asian Games 2010

Bhagyalaxmi Barik, a girl of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), has made it into the 12-member National Women rugby squad participating in the 16th Asian Games, which kicked off in Guangzhou, China on 12th November 2010. She is a second year student of +3 Science stream of KISS.

Earlier in June, she was among three girls from KISS who were identified as core probables for Indian rugby squad for Asiad during a training and practice camp in Balewadi, Pune organized by Indian Rugby Association. They also got an opportunity to play in Malaysia during the camp period.

Bhagyalaxmi is the daughter of Daitari Barik, a resident of Khuntuni in Athagarh area of Cuttack district. She belongs to Sabar tribal group. Selection of a tribal girl from KISS in Indian Women Rugby Squad for Asiad has resulted in a wave of happiness in KISS, Odisha and tribal community at large.

It is a matter of great pride that a student of KISS coming from a remote forest area has been selected for Asian Games, said Dr. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS. Congratulating her for this achievement, he hoped that the Indian Women Rugby Squad would perform well in the games. Her success will inspire others, he added.
UNESCO Recognises KISS

'Contribution of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) in developing Groundwater for Emergency Situations (GWES) pilot project is commendable and UNESCO looks forward to greater universal partnership with this unique institute', said Dr. Davidson L. Hepburn, Hon’ble President of UNESCO General Conference on 12th November 2010. Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of GWES Project Office at KISS, he said, “I have never seen such a group of young people and I am speechless at what I see here”. Activities of KISS, which are in consonance with the Millennium Development Goals, send a positive message all over the world, he said. Dr. Hepburn also planted saplings and unveiled a stone plaque in his honour.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. A. Parsuramen, Director of the UNESCO Office in New Delhi, and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka said that the GWES pilot project will help develop GWES initiative in the country. Appreciating the vision of Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS, he said that his work brings light to millions of children. UNESCO recognizes this effort, he said, while urging the students of KISS to contribute for the society after completing their education.

Introducing the project, Dr. Samanta said that GWES pilot project, which is the first project of its type in eastern India, will be immensely beneficial to this natural disaster prone region. UNESCO has identified KISS as the lead coordination agency for this project. He expressed gratitude to the luminaries from UNESCO for their time and encouragement.

Prof. A. S. Kolaskar, Vice Chancellor, KIIT University also spoke on the occasion. Dr. P. K. Das, Livelihood Director, KISS proposed the vote of thanks.
KISS Hockey Team Selected for State Level Women’s Sports Festival 2010-11

16 member Hockey team of KISS has been selected to participate in the State Level Women’s Sports Festival in Hockey 2010-11, which will be held at Rourkela, Odisha from 12th to 13th November, 2010. The KISS Hockey Team will be representing Khurda district of Odisha.

The selected players from KISS are Albina Munda, Sangeeta Kerketa, Nirmala Kahara, Binodini Nayak, Mamata Murmu, Jasomati Kunkal, Pinki Tirki, Mukti Oram, Anita Bhuyan, Juliani Munda, Midlen Munda, Ranjita Bhuyan, Sabita Munda, Salima Oram and Sushilahana Munda.

Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KISS and KIIT Group of Institutions expressed his satisfaction over all the players for Khurda Team are from KISS.

KISS Students Selected for Sub Junior National Kabaddi Championship

On behalf of National Kabadi Association the 22nd Sub Junior Kabaddi Championship will be organized at Jammu from 10th to 13th November, 2010.  Two girls and two boys of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, KISS have been selected for this championship.

The four students were selected through the selection trail held at Deogarh. Boys selected are Rabindra Behera and Jitu Hembram. Girls team includes Sakuntala Chalan and Ashru Marandi.

Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT and KISS expressed satisfaction over the remarkable achievement of the students of KISS.

‘In India, A Top Private University Supports a School for Tribal People’
Source : The Chronicle of Higher Education, Global Edition, http://chronicle.com/article/In-India-a-Top-Private/125169/ (Accessed on 2nd November 2010)

By Shailaja Neelakantan

As the Founder of KIIT University, a top private institution here, Achyuta Samanta has built an institution that occupies dozens of buildings across 350 acres of plush land. Yet he has no office.

He prefers to do his work at a desk under a fragrant Kadamba tree, in a garden outside a University building where he meets foreign diplomats, Indian movie stars, journalists, and other visitors. Many treat him with reverence; some even touch his feet as if he were a modern-day Buddha.

Mr. Samanta politely waves away such adulation, but to many local people and higher-education officials, what he has created is nothing short of remarkable.

With little more than $100 and 12 students, Mr. Samanta in 1993 established a technical-training institute, the Kalinga Insitute of Industrial Technology, that eventually earned approval to provide undergraduate courses in engineering—the Holy Grail for a private Indian college. Later the government granted it University status in record time.

The courses at KIIT University have expanded to include management, biosciences, and law,. To build his teaching staff, Mr. Samanta attracted high-quality professors from across India, as well as a few from the United States and Canada, by offering two to three times the salaries they would earn at other top Indian institutions.

Today the University has 16,000 students and consistently ranks in the top 30 to 40 Indian private higher-education institutions.

KIIT University "is definitely the top University in Odisha, and we rank them among the top private universities in India," says Premchand Palety, Chief Executive of the Centre for Forecasting and Research, which ranks universities in India.

But Mr. Samanta says he did not start KIIT University to make money or earn personal prestige. He started it as a means to support the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a charitable effort to aid the desperately poor, indigenous tribal people of this southeastern state by offering them free education. (There are 62 tribes in Odisha and about 700 in all of India.)

"After 63 years of independence, they are so neglected and in such a wretched condition, they don't get one square meal a day," Mr. Samanta says. "Poverty in Odisha is more than the poverty in Congo."

While the social-sciences institute and KIIT University are separate entities, they are fundamentally tied together. Mr. Samanta founded them at the same time, and he uses the $3,400-per-student tuition he charges at the University to support the institute. The University provides the institute with 5 percent of its annual profits, and faculty members voluntarily donate 3 percent of their salaries to it.

The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, known as KISS, has 10,000 students, and offers a full range of educational services, including primary and secondary school, vocational education, and undergraduate and graduate courses. It's what Mr. Samanta and his staff like to call "a KG to PG" institution, that is, kindergarten to postgraduate. (In India, graduate programs are referred to as postgraduate programs.)

For the past nine years, all his tribal students entering grade 12—many of whom had probably never seen a chalkboard before they enrolled in KISS—have graduated. By comparison, Indian public high schools graduate only 60 to 70 percent of their senior classes, on average.

KISS's vocational, undergraduate, and graduate programs complement one another, Mr. Samanta says, because the vocational courses teach students how to "earn while they learn." While they study in college, he says, they can continue to send a third of their earnings—about $15 to $20—to their parents. For people who may be living on as little as a dollar a day, it's a significant amount.

KIIT University and the social-sciences institute are housed on a vast campus that is on par with the best Indian universities, with air-conditioned buildings, wireless Internet, multimedia classrooms, laboratories, and conference halls. The campus feels like an ashram with walkways connecting airy buildings and small ponds scattered throughout the grounds.

Despite the idyllic setting, for Mr. Samanta, the road to his success was anything but peaceful.

He grew up destitute in Odisha. His father died when he was 4, and he had to work to support himself from the age of 6 while attending school. Eventually he earned a graduate degree in chemistry.

In the early years of building the Kalinga institutions, debt collectors hounded him for the money he borrowed to start them. In 1995, he resolved to kill himself out of despair because his dream of helping the poorest of the poor was crumbling. "I had no way to pay it back, and people wanted their money back," says Mr. Samanta. At the 11th hour, a sympathetic loan officer from a local bank bailed him out—not only for the $32,000 he owed, but also giving him $56,000 to continue his efforts.

Now a spry 45-year-old, Mr. Samanta chuckles at the suicidal despair of his younger days. While he is still owes money for loans he's taken to build the University's top-class infrastructure, his efforts have offered assistance that observers say is crucial for Odisha's future.

Many tribal people in Odisha and in other poor states are joining a Maoist rebellion in droves—helping the rebels to gain control over a vast swath of eastern India. Many tribesmen join the rebels out of ignorance and because their lack of education leaves them with no real alternatives, Mr. Samanta says. "See, poverty creates illiteracy and literacy eradicates poverty. The moment one is literate all problems will be over, and I'm the best example."

The word about KISS has grown steadily in Odisha's poor interiors, and for the past three years the institute has been getting about 50,000 applications a year.

"I had financial problems, but I wanted to be self-dependent, so I was tutoring some students when I heard about this free institute," says Subhakar Singh, a second-year college student from the Mayurbhanj district, who entered the social-sciences institute in his junior year of high school. "This is a great institution, and now I also want to teach tribals," says the chemistry major.

KISS is also known for providing personalized attention to its students. "In school, it was each to his own, nobody cared about you," says Basu Hembram, from the Dhenkanal district, who entered KISS in eighth grade. "Here they care about each one of us," says the second-year sociology major.

True to his original vision, Mr. Samanta has big plans for KISS. He wants to start sending 30 or 40 students per year to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology and another 30 to the competitive Indian Administrative Service, the country's civil service.

As for KIIT University, he doesn't have big changes in mind, saying that expanding it could threaten its quality.

Says Mr. Samanta, chuckling: "With its reputation, I can open a KIIT University branch in every state, but I'm not like that."