Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, celebrated its third annual convocation on 25th November 2023, in which 302 students including five Ph.D. scholars received their degrees. A galaxy of luminaries adorned the event, including Shri Raghubar Das, Hon’ble Governor of Odisha; Shri Biswabhusan Harichandan, Hon’ble Governor of Chhattisgarh; Shri Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, Govt. of India & Former CEO, NITI Aayog; and Dr. Ricky G. Kej, Internationally Renowned Indian Music Composer & Three-time Grammy Award Winner.
The University conferred Honoris Causa Degrees of D.Litt. upon three distinguished personalities from different walks of life – Shri Biswabhusan Harichandan; His Holiness Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, President & Spiritual Head, Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh; and Mr. Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore & Chairman, Board of Elevandi, Singapore.
Addressing the gathering Shri Raghubar Das said, “Dr. Achyuta Samanta, the Founder of KIIT and KISS has proved that no work is impossible if one has determination. KISS students have made Odisha proud time and again in the fields of academic achievements and sports”. Congratulating the degree recipients, he said, youth power is India’s advantage today. They have ideas and innovation, are bold to take risks, and possess a spirit, he added.
KISS is a praiseworthy initiative by Dr. Achyuta Samanta for the empowerment of tribal people, stated Shri Biswabhusan Harichandan. As conscious and educated citizens, you have the responsibility to ensure that even the poor and those living on the margins get benefits of equality before the law and other constitutional provisions, he told the graduates.
“I have visited many academic institutions in India and abroad, but have not seen institutions like KIIT & KISS anywhere”, stated Shri Amitabh Kant in his convocation address. KISS is an inspirational institution, he said, while congratulating Dr. Samanta for his efforts.
Demographic advantage, thriving democracy, rapid digitization, and focus on environment place India favourably to achieve rapid growth and progress, Shri Kant affirmed. The country is now the 5th largest economy globally, and on track to become the 3rd largest economy by 2027 – 28. India has undergone a digital transformation, and data cost here is only a fraction compared to even the US and the UK, he stated. With 1,10,000 startups, India has the second largest startup movement after the US, he informed while suggesting students explore the wonderful opportunities in startups.
The planet is facing a serious environmental crisis and the only way to make a difference is to change ourselves, insisted Dr. Ricky G. Kej in his address.
Expressing gratitude to the KISS-DU for honouring him with the Honoris Causa Degree, His Holiness Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji said that it is heartening to see that 11 of the 15 medal recipients are girls. This is a symbol of the new Bharat, he said. “Through his struggles in early life, Dr. Samanta has realized that life is not about ‘having more’ but about ‘being more’. He has given wings to your dreams to take off, and his commitment is admirable”, he told the graduates. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Sopnendu Mohanty advised students to master the art of survival and develop academic and professional competencies for success.
Earlier, extending a warm welcome to the dignitaries, Dr. Achyuta Samanta said, “KISS is the eighth wonder of the world, having 80,000 students, including 40,000 alumni and 10,000 students in various satellite centers. With a fully free and fully residential school, college, and university all in one place, KISS is a symbol of humanity. It is also the only exclusive tribal university in the entire world.”
KISS brings holistic, interdisciplinary, and integrative education, while offering full scholarships to every student, who are first-generation learners from remote and underprivileged communities on the margins of the society, said Shri Satya S. Tripathi, Chancellor, KISS-DU in his presidential address.
KISS is a NAAC accredited institution, which has grown substantially in stature since it was declared a university in 2017, stated Prof. Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor in his report. As a university of innovation, KISS-DU has inducted 24 Professors Emeriti and 14 Professors of Practice. It hosted two important events – the Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, and the first Janjatiya Khel Mahotsav in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, he informed, adding that the University also organized the World Anthropology Congress2023 in which more than 1200 scholars from 51 countries participated. Professor Amareswar Galla, Pro-Chancellor, KISS-DU also spoke on the occasion, while Dr. Prashanta Ku. Routray, Registrar proposed the word of thanks.
Five research scholars received Ph.D. degrees under different innovative Departments of KISS Deemed to be University. Tilottama Sabar, School of Indigenous Knowledge, Science & Technology won the Founder’s Gold Medal for securing the highest CGPA in the whole University across all Post Graduate programs. Similarly, seven students were awarded the Chancellor’s Gold Medal, while as many students got the Vice Chancellor’s Silver Medal for their outstanding academic performance.