The World Anthropology Congress based on the theme “Anthropology in Public Sphere: Indigeneity, Social Justice, Sustainability and Global Peace” will be held from the 9th to 15th of August 2023 at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KIIT & KISS) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. WAC is an initiative by the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences and the United Indian Anthropology Forum in collaboration with the Anthropology departments of Utkal University, Sambalpur University and Delhi University, along with the Government of Odisha.
The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) is a residential institution providing free education, accommodation , medical care, vocational, athletic & artistic training to 60,000 indigenous children. Of these, 30,000 students study at the main campus in Bhubaneswar, 15,000 are alumni and 15,000 study at 10 satellite centres of KISS across Odisha. It has indirectly impacted over a million tribal children and youth. The students come from 62 different tribal groups within the region, of which 13 are Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
KISS was started in 1992 with the aim of using accessible, free education to empower children from marginalised communities. It has now grown to symbolise a revolution for tribal populations of India to eradicate poverty through education. In its course of existence for over 28 years, KISS has arrested dropouts, child marriage, gender based harassment, left wing extremism, proselytisation, ignorance and superstition on a massive scale with its peaceful intervention through education and empowerment. It has promoted awareness on importance of education, girl child empowerment, upskilling and vocational empowerment, entrepreneurship and collaboration with the tribal communities as caretakers of the ecosystem and nature.
In 2017, KISS became the first exclusive tribal Deemed to be University in the world, and since 2015, it has been accorded Special Consultative Status by UN-ECOSOC. KISS proudly adheres to a 3E approach -Educate, Enable, Empower while ensuring that the model prioritises indigenous control of education, to preserve the culture, heritage and traditions of India’s diverse tribal communities and fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in its entirety.
Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, known by its acronym KIIT, is one of the leading universities in India renowned for the quality of teaching and research. It was founded in 1992-93 in a rented house with 12 students and 2 teachers as an Industrial Training Institute in Bhubaneswar. It was in this period when India was moving slowly towards globalisation, and private education was unpopular. However, Prof. Achyuta Samanta envisioned an educational institution that would focus on academic expertise and provide a wealth of opportunities for students to gain holistic knowledge – all this with barely any financial backing. It is solely due to the dedication, devotion and grit of our Founder and contribution from the hardworking staff and well-wishers, that KIIT Deemed to be University has become one of the premier educational hubs in India.
With its base year in 1997 with just three programmes – Engineering, MBA & MCA, KIIT’s commitment to excellence led to the grant of Deemed to be University status under Section 3 of UGC Act, 1956 by the Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India in 2004. KIIT has the distinction of being the youngest institute of the country to get a University status in six years. This unique achievement gave it a place in the Limca book of Records. It is indeed incredible to state that in a short time span of time, KIIT has achieved incredible feats in ranking amongst the top colleges in this country. KIIT has been recognised as an ‘Institution of Eminence’ by the Government of India. It has been ranked No. 1 among self-financing institutions of the country in the Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA), 2020 of the Ministry of Education, Government of India. KIIT’s Computer Science Faculty has been ranked in the band of 501-600 by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021. It is also pertinent to mention that KIIT has been ranked in 601-800 band for its Engineering and Technology streams. It has also won The Times Higher Education (THE) Awards Asia 2020 for ‘Workplace of the Year’.
KIIT Deemed to be University is spread over 25 sq.kms with world class infrastructure and top-notch facilities in its 25 lush green campuses. It has a wide base of 30,000 students from all over India and 65 countries across the globe. Over 60,000 students have graduated from KIIT and have carved a niche for themselves and are placed in respectable positions in corporate, academics, government services, business, startups and so on. The outreach work of KIIT University is on a massive scale in terms of social and economic empowerment. The contribution to sports in terms of producing sportspersons and creation of sports infrastructure is next to none. The students’ performance and belongingness within the campus, and in their workplace after they have graduated have inspired us to strive towards higher degrees of excellence. Instead of basking on its past glory and exponential growth, KIIT looks forward to achieving greater heights in world rankings, research and academics.
About Prof. Achyuta Samanta
Prof. Achyuta Samanta is an educationist, philanthropist, and social worker. He is the founder of Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), both educational institutions of global repute and recognition. KIIT is an Institution of Eminence and one of the most prominent universities in India and globe for professional education having more than 30,000 students from all over India and 55 other countries. KISS is a home for 60,000 indigenous children all absolutely free.
Besides Education and tribal upliftment, healthcare and rural development, Shri. Samanta has contributed immensely to art, culture, literature, film, media, society and national integration. It is really incredible that the child who lost his father at the age of four, brought up amidst severe poverty and deprivation with seven siblings and a widow mother in a quaint village in Odisha has accomplished this monumental work without any favour or backing in such a short span of time for the society. He has converted the remote village ‘Kalarabanka’, Cuttack into a Smart Village and the entire Manpur Panchayat into a model Panchayat (cluster of villages).
He has been conferred with more than 50 International and National awards and over 200 state awards besides two highest Civilian Awards from Royal Kingdom of Bahrain and Mongolia. He has been conferred with 45 Honorary Doctorate awards from universities in India and abroad. He is the first Odia to be a member of both UGC and AICTE. He is currently the Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from Kandhamal, Odisha and also the President of Volleyball Federation of India.
As a social reformer, he has been propagating “Art of Giving” (philosophy of life), a concept aimed at bringing peace and happiness around the globe.
Despite all his achievements, he leads a simple lifestyle, keeps on marching towards the cause of spreading smiles among millions and achieving zero poverty, zero hunger, zero illiteracy.
The World Anthropology Congress based on the theme “Anthropology in Public Sphere: Global Peace and Development” will be held from the 15th to 19th of January 2023 at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KIIT & KISS) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. WAC is a joint initiative by the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences and the United Indian Anthropological Forum in collaboration with the Anthropology departments of Utkal University, Sambalpur University and Delhi University, along with the Government of Odisha.
Working Committee comprising members of UIAF and KISS