The Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and the Human Resource Development Centre (HRDC), KISS-DU in collaboration with Centre for Youth and Social Development (CYSD) jointly organized a Distinguished Invited Lecture on Community Engaged Teaching and Research: Implementing NEP 2020 on 20th February 2024. Dr. Rajesh Tandon was invited as the distinguished guest. He is an alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management. He has chosen to work in the non-profit sector since the 80s. Besides being the Chairperson of CYSD, he is the Founder-President of Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) since 1982. He is also Co-Chair of the UNESCO on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education since 2012.

Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice Chancellor, KISS-DU in his Welcome Address briefed about the key areas of collaboration in the recently signed MoU with CYSD. He underscored the relevance of topic of the invited lecture for the students and spoke about the various innovative practices adopted by KISS-DU towards protecting, promoting and preserving indigenous culture and heritage. Professor Amareswar Galla, Pro Chancellor in his address threw light on how the university is on the verge of implementing NEP 2020 and hence is in the cusp of change in doing so. This brings us to the need of listening to the erudite lecture of Dr. Rajesh Tandon on NEP and its implementation.

Dr. Rajesh Tandon President PRIA and Co-Chair UNESCO in his presentation stressed on the key messages of National Education Policy which included holistic and multidisciplinary education, credit courses on community engagement, environmental and value based learning from life, lifelong and life wide and research for innovative solutions to local challenges. Stronger and continous engagement with societal actors, integrating diverse ways of knowling, fostering epistemic dialogue and inter and transdisciplinary ways of producing and teaching knowledge are some of the recommendations of UNESCO on Expert Group on SDGs and HEIs, he added. Furthermore, he discussed the UGC mandates on social responsibility. Dr. Tandon shared that two credit course on learning from community, teaching of community-based participatory research: harvesting community knowledge and to co-design and co-teach new courses which are contextually and thematically appropriate.

Appreciating the efforts of KISS, “I am glad that the KISS Model stresses on Mother Tongue Literacy, because it plays an important role in sense making for the students.”, he said.

He concluded the deliberation by sharing some of the implications of research. Building trusting partnership with local actors to identify research, valuing and harvesting ethically community, local and indigenous knowledge, multi-modal methods (participatory research) and engaged knowledge dissemination built into knowledge production are important, he said.

Shri. Jagadananda, Mentor and Co-Founder CYSD reflected upon the deliberations of Dr. Tandon and facilitated a stimulating interaction session.

While delivering the Word of Thanks, Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU said that today’s topic is in synch with Dr. Achyuta Samanta’s philosophy of 3-E “Educate, Enable and Empower”. He added that KISS has been fulfilling the key elements of the NEP and SDGs since 31 years. Dr. Routray concluded by underlining the need for practicing Action Research for the Research Scholars of KISS-DU.