Very recently, KIIT Deemed to be University has been placed among the top universities of the world in the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings-2021 announced on 21st April 2021 because of the impact it creates on the community in large. KIIT has been placed in the band of 201-300 rank in the overall impact ranking. Additionally, KIIT has been placed in the rank 101-200 in ‘Partnership for The Goals’ and 201-300 in ‘Quality Education‘ & ‘Peace and Justice & Strong Institutions‘ each. It is the only university in eastern India to achieve such an impressive rank. KIIT Deemed to be University has become the first Indian University to achieve “Five Stars Rating” from the prestigious QS Star Ranking System, the results of which were published on 27 April, 2021. The QS Intelligence Unit, a division of Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. rated KIIT as a Five Stars Institution, the top achievable after rigorous and independent data collection and analysis of performance metrics across eight categories – Teaching, Employability, Academic Development, Internationalisation, Online Learning, Innovation, Inclusiveness and Computer Science and Engineering.
Such accolades do not come without sincere efforts, dedication, passion and vision. Right from when I had laid the foundation of an Industrial Training Institute, I wanted to nurture it into a community based university. But it was not possible on the scale, I was envisioning because we started with Rs.5000 as seed capital in two rented buildings. At that point of time, neither I nor people closely working with me had imagined that these two modest institutions will grow to its present stature of recognition and acclaim. But as we were growing, we started expanding outreach and community work based on the principles of compassion and humanitarianism and now KIIT has achieved accolades for its impact. It was not easy and I had to run from pillar to post to chart the trajectory of growth and prominence.
Our outreach work is unparalleled and we lead by an example. We are known for the enormous Social Responsibility that we have given to ourselves besides academic rigour, sports development and student-friendliness. Even during these unprecedented times of pandemic, KIIT University and its sister concern, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences have initiated and continued some humanitarian work like setting up four ultramodern dedicated Covid hospitals with the support of the Govt. of Odisha, located in Bhubaneswar and three tribal-dominated districts of Odisha. The hospitals have a combined bed capacity of 1200. KIMS Covid Hospital in Bhubaneswar, a 500-bedded state-of-the-art facility including 50 critical care beds, is India’s first standalone Covid hospital. The quick turnaround time in setting up the Covid Hospitals has saved thousands of lives. KIIT & KISS reached out to various groups facing hardship due to the extended lockdown. The intervention included the distribution of food materials and other essentials to over 3 lakh pandemic-hit people, including the disadvantaged people living in various slums, stranded migrant labourers, who were also provided temporary shelter, and people living in containment zones.
Community outreach activities of KIIT & KISS strived to reach the hardest-hit and commonly overlooked people – transgenders, sportspersons, physically challenged, sex workers, etc. They were provided with allowances to cope with the prolonged lockdown. Food materials and cash to meet other expenses for three months were given to priests and other workers of several spiritual centres in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and nearby towns. The two institutions are providing groceries and cash for miscellaneous expenses to over 40 orphanages, old age homes and leprosy centres in Kandhamal district. KISS has been sending study materials, dress and generous amount of dry foods at the doorsteps of students every month since April. The monthly materials also contain sanitary napkins for the adolescent girl students. This will continue until reopening of KISS. Inspired by the Prime Minister’s call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (Self-reliant India), KISS has revved up its vocational skill centre during the Covid-19 pandemic. The centre has been scaled up to become a medium-size industry and is now making 25 different types of vocational products. These products are marketed through well developed distribution channel. KIIT Deemed to be University has decided to provide 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. In the last 15 months of ongoing pandemic many children have become orphans. Such children, particularly those belonging to the poorer sections, are suffering an untold tragedy. They are vulnerable to become victims of child abuse and human trafficking. KIIT & KISS have adopted and are taking care of about 100 such orphans and providing them monthly allowance ranging from Rs. 5000 to Rs. 10000, 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 & KISS.
All such accomplishments flow top down and it has been maintained just because of our passion to serve selflessly.