Mr. Bishow Parajuli, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India delivered the 18th Foundation Day Lecture at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar on 16th February 2022.

KIIT Deemed to be University has made great achievements in its short 18 years, Mr. Parajuli said, addressing a large gathering of students, alumni, staff and faculty members joining the celebration physically as well as online. He congratulated Prof. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS for setting up this fantastic institution which is contributing significantly in the field of spreading knowledge, creating opportunities and jobs, transforming lives and nation-building.

Established in 1992 and opened five years later as a multi-disciplinary institute, KIIT’s commitment to teaching 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 on 16th February 2004. Today, it is a leading multi-disciplinary university in India having a diverse student body of 30,000 representing all States and 65 countries. It has built its reputation as the most student-friendly campus, anchored on the principles of Compassion and Humanity.

Recognized as an ‘Institution of Eminence’ by the Govt. of India, KIIT has been securing impressive positions in various national and global rankings of universities, such as the NIRF, Times Higher Education and QS – a testament to its high quality of teaching and research.

“India has made tremendous progress in the field of food security during the last 50 years – it has become a food surplus country from a food-dependent country. Along with food production, conducive policy, science & technology, efficient supply chain, market and access are among the factors that contributed to the progress”, said Mr. Parajuli, who has 35 years of distinguished experiences in development, humanitarian affairs, diplomacy, fundraising, and management in over 10 countries.

Speaking in the global context, he said, the production of food is not equal to the availability of food. “Sadly, global hunger is rising. The situation has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic and conflicts in different parts of the world. Up to 811 million people do not have enough to eat, while 270 million suffer from acute hunger despite plenty of food production”, he remarked.

India’s example is a showcase before the world, he stated, elaborating that initiatives like National Food Security Act, Public Distribution System (PDS) and Mid Day Meal have proved to be a lifeline in ensuring food security in the country. The Government is also aggressively dealing with the problem of malnutrition with measures like fortification of rice with vitamins and minerals, he pointed out.

Voicing his concern over climate change, he said, today a sustainable system of farming has become as important as increasing food production. Climate change is bringing natural disasters like droughts, floods, rising sea levels and cyclones, resulting in crop loss. Higher education institutions of excellence like KIIT and KISS have a great role to play in ensuring that Green Revolution 2.0 is founded on sustainable practices and is able to meet the challenges of climate change, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Achyuta Samanta said that KIIT & KISS are community-based institutions and are contributing to most of the objectives of Sustainable Development Goals. Apart from quality academics and research, KIIT has been significantly contributing to the field of art, culture, sports, social development and spiritualism, he added, while congratulating faculty members, staff, students, alumni and all well-wishers on this auspicious occasion and expressing gratitude for their contributions in making KIIT what it is today.

Prof. Samanta and Mr. Parajuli also signed a Letter of Intent between the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Deemed to be University and WFP India in the presence of Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU and other dignitaries from WFP India, KISS and KISS.

“KIIT has developed an ecosystem to absorb different cultures of the world. It attracts students from about 65 countries, while its graduates are working in 70 countries. KIIT culture equips students to become global citizens”, said Prof. Sasmita Samanta, Vice-Chancellor, KIIT-DU in her presidential address. Prof. Saranjit Singh, Pro-Vice Chancellor, proposed the vote of thanks.