Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray has been serving as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), since April 2005. For the last five years, he has been holding charge as the Registrar of KISS Deemed to be University. KISS is the largest Integrated Residential Academic Institution for the indigenous communities. Thirty thousand tribal students, from kindergarten to the university level, receive free education, healthcare, vocational and athletic training at KISS. There are ten thousand more in ten satellite centres across Odisha.
In a thirty-eight-year-long working career, Dr. Routray has served three institutions in various capacities. He began his professional career at the Advanced Study Centre in Psychology at Utkal University, where he completed his Ph.D. in 1992. He joined the Centre for Youth and Social Development, (CYSD) a Bhubaneswar-based NGO specializing in capacity building, research, and advocacy for the tribal, rural, and urban poor in Odisha, in 1992. By 1994, he shifted from research to practice, taking over as a Programme Officer and Trainer. He rose fast and was heading the Panchayati Raj division at CYSD in 1996. Routray was promoted again in 1998 to the rank of a Programme Manager, leading entire divisions and major projects, coordinating with state and union governments and hundreds of professionals and volunteers on the ground. As a Program Officer, he was with LEPRA India, a NGO which works for mainstream rehabilitation of patients of Leprosy and other debilitating diseases, for a year between 2004 and 2005.
Routray specializes in academic and vocational training of students and the youth. He is the topper in the Utkal University, Bhubaneswar. As a practitioner of Organizational Psychology and Management, he has excelled in large-scale education delivery, strategic organizational planning and turnkey project management, training of trainers, and information and communication management.
Several national and international courses and workshops on these have subsequently strengthened his domain expertise. In 1998, for instance, he was in the Netherlands, attending a UNESCO certified training course on early child development at the AVERROES European Training Centre, Amsterdam.
At KISS, Dr. Routray is responsible for the overall institutional growth and development for both academic and non-academic activities. It primarily involves presiding over a contingent of over two thousand teaching and support staff and coordinating with various donor and collaborators such as the state and the union governments, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNESCO, The US Embassy, ORACLE Education Foundation, TISS, Give India, National Mineral Development Corporation, Tata Steel, BPCL and tens of other corporate bodies. He also looks after the research and advocacy at KISS, supervising the development project proposal for various issues relating to tribal development and research projects on aspects of tribal education and livelihood. A major part of his remit is to lead the engagement with government and non-government organizations about prospects of grant and fund mobilization.
Dr. Routray is a workaholic, typically spending 12 hours on an average in office, and believes in the hands-on style of leadership. In his spare time, which is a rarity, Routray loves to read and write. He continues to review papers for various journals on psychology, education, and development. Travel and music are two of his other favourites.