KISS-DU inked MoU with ICAR Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture on 20th May 2022. Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU, welcomed Dr. Saroj Kumar Swain, Director, CIFA; Dr. P. K. Sahoo, National Professor, CIFA, Dr. M. Samant, Principal Scientist, CIFA, Professor Siba Prasad Adhikary, Emeritus Professor, KISS-DU, and all students, faculty members, and senior functionaries present at the MoU Signing Ceremony. He emphasized the importance of the MoU for the researchers and students of KISS-DU, and said that CIFA has carried out a significant amount of value-added work in the interest of farmers and the nation so far. He mentioned that in addition to commitments expected from such memoranda, the current memoranda carried a provision for carrying out joint activities leading to the creation of intellectual property rights. He expressed a desire for KISS-DU students to be skilled in aquaculture entrepreneurship with CIFA. He also appreciated the efforts of Dr. Rashmi Mohapatra, Dean, School of Comparative Indic Studies and Tribal Sciences, KISS-DU towards creating the MoU through sustained interaction and collaboration with the scientists and administration of CIFA. Dr. Mohapatra then introduced the illustrious guests and shared brief accounts of their career as eminent researchers and educators.

Speaking on the occasion on behalf of CIFA, Dr. Saroj K Swain said that it was his pleasure to have witnessed firsthand the phenomenon of inclusive, free, holistic education at KISS-DU. He appreciated the mega-kitchen, vocational training centre, and aquaculture ponds at KISS-DU. He lauded the herculean efforts of the Hon’ble Founder, KISS, KIIT, and KIMS , Professor Achyuta Samanta. He described the MoU as an excellent opportunity for CIFA to work with the indigenous community. He stressed the need for the transfer of technology to tribal populations while keeping their traditions alive and intact. He extended an open invitation to all the members of the KISS-DU family to visit, and work at CIFA.Dr. Swain went on to explain how farmers could grow fish to grow with fish. India has enormous potential for aquaculture, in terms of millions of hectares of water bodies, with an estimated produce of 14.1 million tons of produce in 2021. He then went on to describe an intricate strategy for promoting sustainable aquaculture, including species diversification, genetically improved breeds, cost-effective feed formulations, and pro-active health management.

Dr. P.K Sahoo, National Professor, CIFA, expressed his delight on the occasion, and said that while CIFA was working towards alleviation of hunger, KISS-DU has been working towards the alleviation of hunger, poverty, and lack of privileges, and has been imparting the gift of education to those who need it the most. He mentioned that CIFA had an earmarked budget for the uplifting of underprivileged communities, and thus has a common aim with KISS-DU. He interacted with the students of KISS-DU, who were excited and motivated by the opportunities inherent in the MoU. Prof. Sahoo described the MoU as a win-win for both the bodies of higher education. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. M. Samant, Principal Scientist, CIFA remarked that empowering the underprivileged through education and training is a truly demanding task. He invited the students of KISS-DU to visit CIFA, and the faculty to participate in collaborative research with CIFA, and co-supervise research scholars.

Prof. S.P. Adhikary then recounted a personal incident outlining his positive interactions with CIFA, and detailed the signal role CIFA had played in helping farmers rebuild their estates after the supercyclone that laid waste to economy in Odisha.

Dr. Prashant Kumar Routray, revered Registrar, KISS-DU, expressed his happiness at the MoU being formalized between the two institutions, and recounted how at an Annual Parents’ Meeting, some of the parents had expressed a desire to cultivate fish in rainwater ditches in the tribal hinterland, to supplement his meager income. The Hon’ble Founder, Professor Achyuta Samanta, sent an expedition to Raygada and facilitated the process with significant help from CIFA. Dr. Routray stressed the need for ensuring sustainable livelihood while keeping the tribal ecosystem and tradition intact.

After the Memorandum was signed by both parties and copies exchanged between the Director, CIFA, and the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU, Dr. Priyoneel Basu, KISS-DU, expressed a warm vote of thanks, welcoming the dignitaries from CIFA to the KISS-DU fold.