Published: 13th August 2021
Stay home but focus on your dreams: KIIT Founder Achyuta Samanta
Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India Dharmendra Pradhan and Nobel Prize winner Jean-Marie Lehn to attend KIIT's 17th Convocation
The times left behind and the ones that followed in 2021 were a mixed bag of fortunes that went through tremendous fluctuations. The year 2021 began with a sigh of relief after facing an unprecedented crisis in the previous year which had affected and impaired all forms of life and livelihood. But a few months into the new year we realised that the time that descended was more devastating, a wave that engulfed us in a way that we got to see COVID-19 very closely. All of us witnessed the loss of some and felt proud of some of those who fought but did not succumb. But amid the darkness, there were glimmers of euphoria and that of academics. An academic year that ushered in uncertainty and unpredictability though the disease grew more menacing while vaccinations were being rolled out.
Sparks in the gloom
Amidst COVID-19, a natural calamity Yaas worsened the levels of poverty due to the lockdowns and mental stress, the batch of 2021 have fared well with their perseverance and resilience. KIIT Deemed-to-be University, which is well known for its student-friendliness, compassion and humanitarianism, stood by its students like a rock and anchored them to success in such testing times.
Climbing on rankings
KIIT has earned what it deserved. KIIT has earned global acclaim and reputation in a very short period of time — ranked 30th among Indian universities (overall) by the London-based Times Higher Education, Asia University Rankings 2021 and 15th Rank in the General Engineering in the country, retaining its position among top institutions in India.
The list of the leaps it took is long and today, KIIT is among a handful of Indian universities to enter the Asia University Rankings 2021 of Times Higher Education ranking and the only Deemed-to-be University from Odisha to make it to the enviable list.
KIIT was ranked at 251-300 in the THE World University Rankings 2021. It is the first Indian university to achieve a 'five-star rating' from the prestigious QS Star Ranking System. More significantly, KIIT has acquired an impressive rank in the band 201-300 in the overall impact ranking by THE Impact Rankings for its impact and efforts at sustainable development — education, alleviation of poverty, accelerating peace, gender equity and fostering partnerships.
Outreaching beyond human
Notably, even during the pandemic, it did not lose sight of its mission of charity and humanitarianism and has taken a series of initiatives right from the outbreak of the disease and has been at the forefront of Odisha’s war against Coronavirus. In one of the most significant measures in Odisha’s war against COVID-19, Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), a constituent of KIIT Deemed-to-be University, set up four ultramodern dedicated COVID hospitals with over 2,000 beds with the support of the Government of Odisha, located in Bhubaneswar and in three tribal-dominated districts of Odisha.
The interventions which were model and philanthropic included the distribution of food materials and other essentials to over three lakh pandemic-hit people, including the marginalised people living in various slums and stranded migrant labourers.
KIIT also made an outstanding outreach to thousands of animals scattered over the city providing them food during the pandemic as all eateries were closed and tourist spots were bereft of human presence leaving a huge stock of animals there in doldrums. Community outreach activities of KIIT and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) strived to reach the hardest-hit and commonly overlooked people — transgender, sportspersons, physically challenged, sex workers and so on.
Path-breaking Initiative of KISS
KIIT has been funding KISS that has been sending study materials, dresses and generous amounts of dry foods to the doorsteps every month for the last one and a half years. In one of its kind gestures, KIIT has been providing free education to the children of the COVID deceased in Odisha. The facility will be available for two academic years: 2020-21 and 2021-22.
This should be seen as an exemplary gesture from the KIIT family and in addition to this magnanimity, KIIT and KISS have adopted and are taking care of about 100 such orphans and providing them monthly allowance ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000, depending upon the family size. As and when the academic institutions reopen, they will be provided with free education and subsequently complete higher education in KIIT and KISS.
Dr Samanta | (Pic: KIIT)
In a stand-out position, we are also the only educational institution in India to provide Rs 5,00,000 (rupees five lakh) as a token of assistance to the family of employees who have succumbed to COVID-19 in order to alleviate their hardships to a little extent. We believe that no amount of money can compensate for the loss, but this amount can give temporary relief.
Besides, one eligible person from his/her family will be employed suitably in KIIT, KISS or KIMS, depending upon his/her educational qualification. KIIT will provide free education to the eligible children of their families in KIIT. KIIT has a multidimensional reach and impact.
A look through the window of erudition
KIIT has made immense contributions to education, healthcare, sustainable development, literature and culture and more specifically, sports. KIIT Deemed-to-be University is the only varsity in India to have three of its students in separate events. Dutee Chand, Shivpal Singh and CA Bhavani Devi represented India at Tokyo Olympics in 100m and 200m sprint, javelin (athletics) and fencing (saber) events respectively. KIIT and KISS have produced over 5,000 sportspersons playing at different zonal, state and international level.
KIIT, a global village
KIIT Deemed-to-be-University stands out as it is a student and parent-friendly university. A humongous number, 30,000 students from all over India and 65 countries, study here and find a home in the university, which is a melting pot of culture.
KIIT is known for its excellent track record of placements since its inception. We have been able to achieve excellent placements for the 2019-20 batch despite the pandemic being at its peak. Keeping up with our past trend, KIIT is on its way to achieving record placement for the 2021 graduating batch due to the dedicated efforts of our training and placement department.
Our students have bagged 2,500 single offers, 4,000 multiple offers with the highest CTC of 30 lakh and an average of six lakh. Even the School of Management has broken its previous records of placement. It wasn’t an easy task to accomplish given the circumstances — trimming company sizes and lay-offs.
We value research as a potent form of learning by doing. Besides in-house publications by various schools, the researchers and faculty members of various schools regularly publish their research papers in reputed journals, authored books, have research projects and fellowships to research abroad and on joint projects. Currently, about 100 research and consultancy projects are funded by various national and international funding agencies.
Beyond the normal
KIIT is the only university in India to have 22 Nobel Laureates visiting the campus and addressing students. Over hundreds of collaborations made with universities far and wide across the globe have been facilitating student and faculty exchanges, research collaborations and membership in international associations for cooperation in raising standards of education around the globe and global visibility with an aim to make KIIT a globally acclaimed centre of excellence in education, embracing internationalisation of education.
Students and staff have worked relentlessly to help take KIIT to the position it is today. We hope that this pandemic subsides soon and our students come back to the campus. Meanwhile, we are recalibrating our campus to be prepared to welcome our students with all safety precautions and protocols in mind. For the batch graduating in 2021, it has been really disappointing that they could not come to the campus. We have tried to provide the most personal touch through the use of technology and augmented reality this Convocation.
The 17th convocation of KIIT Deemed-to be-University will be graced by Prof Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1987), France who will deliver the convocation lecture. Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Education and Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India will preside as chief guest. It is a matter of great pride that Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) has given her kind consent to receive the Honorary Doctorate of Letters (DLitt Honoris Causa). Vallabh Bhanshali, Founder of ENAM Group, Desh Apnayen Sahayog Foundation and Founder-Director of FLAME University will also be conferred with Honoris Causa degree.
To the Class of 2021, I completely understand that the last thing that you want to hear right now is, 'Stay home'. But still, one can be close to home and near and dear ones, not physically but emotionally. I urge everyone to pursue every ambition and dream and embrace the responsibility to build this community — your priority. I reiterate that remember one thing — you are and will always be kings and queens, like your hostels say, Kings Palace and Queens Castle. Go kiss the world.