The Founder

DR. ACHYUTA SAMANTA
Hon'ble Founder, KIIT and KISS

A great educational entrepreneur and social worker, Dr. Achyuta Samanta is no less than a sage in true spirit of the word and a seer. His character is bedecked with humility, simplicity, honesty, transparency, sociability, tenacity, and Self motivation.

What he started in 1993 as a non-descript industrial training institute in a 2-roomed rented building with a paltry investment of RS 5000/- raised from his personal savings, money borrowed by pawning of meager personal valuables and hand loans, THE KALINGA INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY, grew rapidly to become a self-financed autonomous university, KIIT UNIVERSITY, in a matter of a few years, a fact considered as a record in itself by the much accredited LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS. The university today is one of the finest universities of India whose academic ambience, steered and nurtured with commitment to quality and purpose by Dr. Samanta himself as its founder, has been attracting knowledge seeking scholars from all parts of the country and abroad.

Dr. Samanta, who had a very difficult childhood ridden with abject poverty meted out by the sudden demise of his father when he was going through the fourth summer of his life, was deeply enshrined with the wisdom 'education empowers'. A keen observer of the social phenomena, Dr. Samanta, who was often found brooding on the banks of a pond in his village, was very compassionate deep within and silently vowed to dedicate his life for eradication of poverty and sufferings of the marginalized members of human societies around him. Strongly driven to get educated and empowered, the struggles of a poverty stricken fatherless child did not distract him, thanks to his nurturing mother and a few well wishers, he progressed steadily and went on to obtain his Masters in Chemistry from the reputed Utkal University in the year.

But soon he renounced his personal comforts brought in by a lecturer's job in a local college in the capital city of Odisha, Bhubaneswar, and set off to work towards emancipation of the historically downtrodden and marginalized tribal communities of Odisha by setting up the KALINGA INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES with the surpluses generated from the other educational venture, KIIT, to provide free education to the poorest-of-the-poor tribal children. The institute, which began with some 125 students in 1993, has grown in size, name and fame across the globe and attracts scholars, social researchers, academicians, statesmen, heads of states, ambassadors, Nobel Laureates, journalists, legal luminaries, planners and educationists and other people of substance from across the globe. The venture which is unique in all respects displays brilliant social and educational entrepreneurship of Dr. Samanta. The whole world is recognizing his prowess by bestowing him with decorations and awards; the list is long which includes
  • Honorary Highest Degree of the University 'Goddess of Harvest OPS' from the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague
  • Degree of Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from National Formosa University, Taiwan
  • Degree of Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from Hanseo University of South Korea
  • Degree of Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from National University of Cambodia
  • Honorary D. Sc and Ph.D. from OIU, Colombo.
  • Mahaveer Award-2012 by Bhagwan Mahaveer Foundation, Chennai
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Award-2012 by the Prime Minister of India during 99th Indian Science Congress
  • Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award-2011 (Social Bravery Award) in recognition of an exceptional Act of Courage in social sector.
  • ICON of Odisha-2011 by Times of India.
  • National Young EDGE Award 2010 - Emerging Direction in Global Education (EDGE) for outstanding contribution in Education.
  • Asia’s Best Social Entrepreneur Award by World HRD Congress conferred on 23rd July, 2010 in Singapore.
  • Humanitarian Award 2004 from Mahatma Gandhi Remembrance Organization, Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • International Award ‘Certificate of Excellence for outstanding social work from Muscat and Cambodia Government.

Dr. Samanta is currently occupying many coveted and responsible positions. He is:

  • Commission Member, University Grants Commission(UGC), Ministry of HRD, Government of India (2008-11 & 2011-14 (2nd Consecutive term)
  • Member, National Council for Teacher Education(NCTE), Ministry of HRD, Govt. of India
  • Member, Coir Board, Government of India, Kochi
  • Member, National Executive Council, Indian Society for Technical Education
  • Member, Executive Committee, Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA)
  • Member, Academic Council of Assam Central University, Silchar (President of India Nominee)
  • Member, Academic Council, Central University, Odisha (Nominee of the MHRD, Govt. of India)
  • Member, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Govt. of India (Committee on 'Round Table' on Disadvantaged Section, Women, and SC/ST for expansion of educational opportunities)

Like a true son of the soil, Dr. Samanta has worked towards development his motherland Odisha, its mother tongue and cultural heritage. His native village has been transformed into a model village with all modern amenities, all due to personal sacrifices of his earnings. He has founded the very popular Odia magazine, 'KADAMBINI' and produced epoch making films in Odia language highlighting sufferings of common men and women in the contemporary times.

Truly humanist and social reformer Dr Samanta has been a symbol of individual wakening to the importance of selfless service for the development human society and for the creation of an equitable society sans poverty and hunger empowered by education and nurturing of human talents. To him, the purpose of higher education has been public welfare. The saga of Dr. Samanta’s hard-work and personal sacrifice is certainly an example to be cherished.