The Biju Patnaik Research Chair, KISS-DU organized a programme on ‘Entrepreneurship, Equity and Development’ on the occasion of the 106th Birth Anniversary of Sj. Biju Patnaik on 5th March, 2022. Mr. Asutosh Rath, General Manager, Corporate Communications, National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Corporate Office, Bhubaneswar and Mr. Prasanta Biswal, State Head, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Corporate Relations, JSW Group, Bhubaneswar were invited as distinguished speakers on the occasion.

In his welcome address, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU spoke about the significance of Panchayati Raj Divas and how KISS and KISS-DU have been honouring the life, philosophy and dreams of the legendary Biju Patnaik. He highlighted the enormous contribution of Sj. Patnaik for Odisha and the nation as a whole.  He also spoke about his vision for Industrial Odisha, initiatives for encouraging entrepreneurship and the role he played in saving Kashmir and the Indonesian freedom struggle.

Paying homage to the legendary leader, Professor Jugal Kishore Mishra, Chair Professor, Biju Patnaik Research Chair spoke about Sj. Patnaik’s contributions as a Politician, Freedom Fighter, Social Activist and his dream to transform Odisha into an Industrial State.

In his address, Mr. Asutosh Rath shared his experience while working with young boys and girls in the tribal belts of Odisha and spoke about some of the challenges related to online education during COVID-19 and health problems due to improper sanitation in the tribal pockets. Entrepreneurial success stories have a ripple and cascading effect on the society at large, he stated. He informed about the CSR activities being carried out by the Corporates for the overall development of the needy people at the community level and stressed the importance of hand-holding in setting up the start-ups and enterprises. In the forthcoming years, there will be ample scope for tribal youths in the mining and metal sectors as these two sectors will enable them to set up more start-ups in the aspirational districts, he added.

Speaking on the relevance and significance of the topic, Mr. Prasanta Biswal mentioned that KISS is an excellent example of social entrepreneurship. He hailed the efforts of the managing committee for the exemplary work being done for the benefit of the tribal youths in general through education and skill-building activities. He reciprocated some of his experiences during his student life which encouraged him to develop his interest at the grass-roots level. He cited some examples and case studies including success stories for entrepreneurship.

Both the distinguished speakers appreciated the efforts being undertaken at KISS by Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KISS & KIIT for the upliftment of more than 30,000 marginalized tribal children, highlighting the fact that such efforts are an integral part and gradual progress towards a sustainable society. They also expressed an active interest in working collaboratively on areas of similar interests.

Summing up the discussion, Dr. P. K. Routray, CEO, KISS and Registrar, KISS-DU explained the relevance of instituting the Biju Patnaik Research Chair at KISS-DU. He expressed his satisfaction at the remarkable articulation of the ideas by some of the research scholars of KISS-DU. Dr. Disha Bhatt, Assistant Professor, KISS-DU also spoke on the occasion.