Odisha’s Kalinga Institute Of Social Sciences (KISS) has become India’s first tribal University after the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) on Aug 25 accorded it university status under section 3 of UGC Act, 1956.
Here is everything you need to know about KISS-India’s first tribal University:
1. With MHRD according it university status, Kalinga Institute Of Social Sciences (KISS) has become not only India’s but the world’s first tribal university.
2. Kalinga Institute Of Social Sciences (KISS) has been declared a Deemed University under De-Novo category.
4. Technically the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU) in Amarkantak of Madhya Pradesh is the first tribal university.
But it also has students of other categories; whereas, KISS is an exclusive institution where all its students are tribal.
5. As many as 27000 poorest of the poor indigenous children are provided free education, lodging, food, healthcare, etc. at KISS.
The tribal children are provided “holistic education from Kindergarten to Post Graduation along with lodging, boarding, health care facilities besides vocational and life skill empowerment,” says the official website.
6. Founded by Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Kalinga Institute Of Social Sciences (KISS) began its journey in 1992-93 in a rented building in Bhubaneswar with only 125 students.
He served University Grants Commission (UGC) as Member for two consecutive terms (2008-11 & 2011-2014) and was a Member of the Executive Committee of All Indian Council for Technical Education (AICTE), besides several other Government of India bodies.
Presently, he is the General President of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA). Samanta had lost his father at the age of four before he could know the significance of the world and lived his childhood in abject poverty.
Today, he is a legend, an iconic educationist, an emblem of service to humanity, a beacon of light for social transformation, and a redeemer of the fallen, the oppressed and the marginalized.
He has been working relentlessly for Zero Poverty, Zero Hunger, and Zero Illiteracy.
7. KISS aims at expanding its branches across 30 districts of Odisha, as well as pan-India.
A branch of KISS in Delhi, KISS-Delhi, is already functioning with the support of Delhi government. Work is in progress to start two international branches abroad including in Bangladesh.
8. The expansion, planned over the next decade, aims to benefit 2,00,000 poor indigenous children.
9. Providing a boost to research on tribal studies, Kalinga Institute Of Social Sciences (KISS) will be introducing seven new innovative departments in the first phase, the University authorities told Big Wire.
10. In 2015, KISS, Bhubaneswar received Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) by the United Nations. It is also associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI).
11. KISS has made three Guinness World Records. In 2015, KISS formed the longest human chain (High Five) of the world to promote world peace.
Over 25,000 students formed the 30-km long human chain on World Human Rights Day in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
On the same day, students of the institute formed the largest human sentence – ‘We Urge for World Peace’. On August 29, 2017, 15,991 students performed the Largest Laughter Yoga Class with Dr. Madan Kataria.
12. At present, the student strength of KISS is 37,000 (existing students are 27,000, while 10,000 have graduated).
13. Around 60% of KISS students are girls.
14. Besides implementing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in true sense, KISS has been able to bring about much needed social change in the tribal hinterland of Odisha and its neighboring states by arresting the spread of Maoist and Naxalite insurgency.
15. Infrastructure and facilities here are at par with any good public institute.
These modern facilities include Green Initiatives, Computer Lab, Library, Dispensary, Gym and Yoga, Wi-fi Campus, Tribal Museum, Hostel, Multipurpose Mega Dining Hall, Mega Bathing Complex, Steam based Kitchen, etc.
Steam based kitchen of KISS has the distinction of featuring in ‘Mega Kitchen’ series of the National Geographic Channel.
16. KISS has achieved much prominence globally during the last 10 years. It has collaborated with important international agencies and top universities of the world.
They include United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Volunteers (UNV), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), US Department of States, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Ashoka Foundation, Neeti Foundation, Education Development Centre of Cambridge University and British Council.
KISS has tie-ups with 50 universities, including Hanseo University, South Korea; University of Tubingan, Germany; College of Charleston, U.S.; Cambridge University, U.K.; Kingston University, U.K.; Northumbria University, U.K.; University of Central Lancashire, U.K.; Leeds University, U.K.; University of Milan, Italy; and Helsinki Espana – University Network, Spain.
17. KISS has been consistently achieving cent percent success in Class 10th and Class 12th examinations.
Its students have received Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Ignite Awards. Students have also achieved success in prestigious entrance examinations of national-level reputed institutes like IIT and IIM as well as Civil Services.
19. It has received Champion Level-Platinum Certification by GuideStar India for NGO Transparency (2016)
20. It has also been ranked among top 223 NGOs of the world and 10 best NGOs of India in the prestigious ranking of world NGOs published in 2016 by NGO Advisor, a Geneva-based independent media organization.
22. Leading national and international media, including National Geographic, The Time, Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, Readers’ Digest, Asia Post and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) have written about this institute.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.