KISS plans branch in Bengal to cater to tribal populace
Kolkata: Kalinga Institute of Social Studies (KISS) that has been granted status of a deemed university by the Central government in August plans to set up its branch in Bengal to cater to the tribal population of the state. "In the next three years, we are planning to expand. We will hold talks with the Bengal government soon and we hope that we will get land for setting up a campus here. We will start with the school-level and will gradually expand to Post-Graduation," founder of KISS, Prof. Achyuta Samanta said in Kolkata on Sunday.
KISS University has become the first university in the country and probably also in the world that is dedicated exclusively for tribal students and tribal studies who get residential education free of cost. It imparts education right from the primary to the Post-Graduate level and boasts of a good placement record in both government and private sector.
At present there are 100 students from Bengal who are studying in the 11th standard and beyond. However, students from the North-east and Jharkhand are five times higher. KISS is eyeing more students from Bengal, with the institute granted deemed university status by the Ministry of Human Resource Development on August 25. Samanta has already visited the tribal areas in the Burdwan district of Bengal. KISS presently has students from 10 states in the country and two foreign countries Bangladesh and Ethiopia. "We are witnessing interest from students of SAARC and African countries as well for studying here. We hope to get students from there next year," Samanta said.
KISS which has 60 percent of its seats for girls and remaining 40 percent for boys will introduce seven new departments to provide impetus to research on tribal studies. Samanta claimed that the Director General of Police of Odisha has recently lauded the KISS for drop in Maoist activities in Odisha. "The DG had said that if 35,000 tribals had not been in KISS, then at least 5 of them would be in Maoism and many more tribal girls would have been trafficked. This is a matter of pride for KISS," he added.