On the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) has been granted the University status by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Govt. of India vide its Letter No. F.9-14/2011-U-3 (A) dated 25/08/2017. It has become the first tribal university in India and in the entire world. Though Indira Gandhi National Tribal University has been established before, it enrolls students of all categories. On the other hand, KISS University is exclusively for tribal students.
KISS has been declared a Deemed University under De-Novo category. The University will introduce seven new innovative departments in the first phase to provide impetus to research on tribal studies and help KISS achieve a place of prominence in the tribal education and research in world. Deemed University status has been granted with this hope. As before, students of KISS University will get residential education absolutely free of cost.
Expressing his satisfaction, Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KISS University said, this became possible due to the blessings of Almighty and good wishes of people of Odisha. He expressed gratitude to the people of Odisha. Dr. Samanta, on behalf of KISS, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi. Expressing his gratitude to Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Samanta said that without his blessings and good wishes, KISS could not have scaled such height.
He has expressed his personal gratitude to Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar, who made history by approving to grant Deemed to be University status to KISS. He has thanked the officials of the Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India and the University Grants Commission for their approval. He thanked two Union Ministers from Odisha, Shri Jual Oram, Minister of Tribal Affairs and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum for their help and good wishes. Dr. Samanta also expressed his thanks to local, national and international media for their support.
KISS Deemed University is supposed to be the first University in the world exclusively for tribal students and tribal studies, which is fully free and fully residential. Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) was founded by Prof. Achyuta Samanta in 1992-93 in a rented building in Bhubaneswar with only 125 poor tribal students. It underwent massive growth with gradual increase in the student strength. At present, student strength of KISS has touched 37,000 (27,000 existing students and 10,000 graduated). Sixty percent (60%) of them are girl students.
In addition to formal education from Class I to Postgraduate level, a wide range of vocational skill is imparted to the students. Besides implementing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in true sense, KISS has been able to bring about much needed social changes in the tribal hinterland of Odisha and its neighboring states by arresting spread of Maoist and Naxalite insurgency. KISS, through its 37,000 students who come from as many families in different villages across the state, is indeed transforming tribal mindset and helping them join the mainstream society.
There was a wave of joy among the students of KISS after getting this news. Parents of around 40,000 students of the institute and the tribal community were overjoyed with the achievement.