Thursday, March 2, 2017

KIIT University and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences: Furthering Research

From being one of the youngest institutions to be awarded the deemed university status in India and then breaking into the Limca Book of Records for achieving university status over a decade ago, KIIT University isn’t like the everyday trendsetter in this arena. While its faculty members pursue path-breaking research funded by organizations like Department of Science and Technology (DST), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), it also functions as the mentor institution for conducting faculty development program in eastern India under the auspices of AICTE. 

Simply put, KIIT University’s contribution towards national development, through its close association with government agencies, cannot be understated. Under the visionary leadership of Mr Achyuta Samanta, KIIT University has scaled great heights to earn the reputation of being one of Odisha’s premier educational institutes.  

In fact, in a year when only a few institutes from Odisha made it to the Union HRD Ministry’s first ever ranking framework for higher educational institutions, KIIT University’s achievements deserve greater attention. Further, not a single State government-run institute of higher learning from Odisha had made it to the list. In the national list, KIIT University secured 60.09 points, finishing at a commendable 53rd position. In the engineering category, the university is only behind IIT Bhubaneswar, placed 32nd in an otherwise abysmal performance by the state’s institutions.

The university also achieved an A grade in the NAAC grading system after the UGC decided to grant extension of the same grade to the top ranking educational institutions which have performed consistently well during earlier assessments. KIIT University secured a high score of 3.48 out of 4 points (87%), thereby joining the league of 11 elite institutions like IITs, JNU, TISS and other reputed universities. Notably, KIIT University achieved the same grade twice before this. The university is not only accredited by NAAC but is amongst the few in India to receive a Tier 1 (Washington Accord) accreditation by NBA of AICTE for engineering streams.

KIIT University in a short span of just 12 years has evolved into a nationally acclaimed institute providing world class education in technology, medicine, law, media, biotechnology, management, rural managements etc. The A grade extension is applicable for a period of two years. In light of this achievement, KIIT University is in contention to receive the same grade for seven years instead of five years earlier as according to the plan, the scheme becomes applicable to the institutions which obtained highest grade for two cycles.

KIIT University sprawls over 6000 acre area with one million square meters of aesthetically built up area. There are 28 constituent schools adopting modern-technology enabled campuses offering graduate, post graduate, doctoral and post doctoral programmes in a wide range of disciplines like engineering, bio-technology, medicine, management, law, computer application, rural management, fashion, film studies, journalism and sculpturing etc.

Most of its students who appear in campus placement opportunities are assured of competitive job offers from big IT and corporate companies. Last year, KIIT University achieved near cent percent placement with 91% of the total 3214 registered and eligible students of the passing-out batch placed in companies like Wipro, Accenture, Cognizant, Infosys etc.

The School of Engineering (B.Tech. programme) recorded 92% placement while the School of Rural Management and School of Management achieved 100% and 83% placement respectively. Similarly, School of Law and School of Biotechnology registered 85% and 98% placement respectively. The School of Computer Application achieved 84% placement for its MCA students. 

The four major companies - Accenture, Wipro, Cognizant and Infosys - that visited the campus came up with a total 3406 job offers. While Accenture led the list with 1414 job offers, Wipro, Cognizant and Infosys followed with 899, 705 and 388 job offers respectively. Salary package offered last year was higher compared to previous years, with the highest package being Rs. 33 lakh and the average salary being Rs. 4.6 lakh.

The students are also admitted to reputed international universities and institutions for Ph.D and higher studies courses in Switzerland, France, Norway, Canada, Poland and Germany.

In its quest to promote research collaboration and capacity building of the Northeast region, KIIT University recently signed a MoU with the Institute of Bio-Resources and Sustainable Development (IBSD). IBSD is a premier national institute under the aegis of Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India.

The inauguration of the 13th DAE-BRNS biennial symposium on Nuclear and Radiochemistry (NUCAR) organized by the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC) and Indian Association of Nuclear Chemists and Allied Scientists (IANCAS) was held at KIIT University. The university was also a major associate partner of the event, which is regarded as the country’s oldest and most prestigious symposium of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE). BIRAC - The Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, the government's nodal funding agency for the biotech industry, partners with KIIT University’s business incubator to propel startup initiatives in this industry.

Besides their pioneering presence in the fields of technology, engineering and research, the university is a shining example of how emphasizing on the social sciences needs to be an integral part of the ethos of an institution. The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is a step in that direction. Primarily a residential institute for the underprivileged sections of society, KISS provides state-of-the-art educational development, social empowerment and employment opportunities for over 25,000 tribal children each year.  

KISS, run by the KISS Foundation, was the only NGO from India selected to participate in the United Nation's 55th session of the Commission for Social Development, held at the UN Headquarters in New York last year. The institute was also placed among the 10 best NGOs of India in the prestigious ranking of world NGOs published annually by NGO Advisor, a Geneva-based independent media organization. Earlier, it had been conferred Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) - the highest recognition to an Non Government Organization by the United Nations.

In her recent visit to KIIT University and KISS, the Asst. Secretary of United Nations and Dy. Executive Director, UN Women, Ms. Laxmi Puri showered accolades on the university’s exemplary contribution towards social justice and women empowerment in the country. The campus was also visited by Ms. Katherine B. Hadda, U.S Consul General, who reiterated their long standing relationship with KISS through the English Access Micro Scholarship Programme. The institute conferred the KISS Humanitarian Award on the American actor-activist and Global Goodwill Ambassador for the UNFPA, Ashley Judd at the KISS premises last year.  

The institute has also been awarded the Guide Star Champion Level Platinum Certification by Guide Star India for NGO Transparency. It is one among only 14 NGO out of 51,400 to get the Platinum Certification.  KISS has also been playing an important role in curbing Maoism in tribal areas of Odisha by admitting children from the worst hit regions of the state. Supported by the KISS Foundation and financial aid from the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, KISS has already set up branches in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and plans to expand its presence to at least 10 other states in the next two years.

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