His Excellency Vice President of India Visits KIIT & KISS
KIIT & KISS Go Far Beyond My Expectation: Shri Ansari
“Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) and KIIT University far exceed what I had heard about them”, said Shri M. Hamid Ansari, His Excellency the Vice President of India during his visit to KIIT and KISS on 22nd October 2010. Referring to KISS, he said, “I was told that it is a nice institute with many students, but what I see here is nothing less than a township.” Dr. A. Samanta, Founder, KIIT & KISS has demonstrated that if one has passion to do something for the society, a lot can be done, Shri Ansari said, adding that such examples are very rare in the world.
Shri Ansari was accompanied by Shri M. C. Bhandare, His Excellency the Governor of Odisha. Programme of the Vice President at KISS included unveiling of a bronze plaque in his honour, inauguration of a Paudi Bhuinya demo house and plantation. He subsequently proceeded to KIIT Convention Centre for a ‘Question & Answer Session’ with the students of KIIT University.
Power of collective wisdom can solve burning problems our society face today, he said, setting the tone for the session. Shri Ansari touched upon subjects ranging from corruption in judiciary and armed forces to ethical issues in advanced biotechnology research during one-hour interaction with the students of different academic streams of KIIT University. For students, it was a rare opportunity to interact with the Vice President of India directly.
Responding to a poser from a student of KIIT Law School, he said that corruption is a social disease which has assumed alarming proportions. There is a need to go to the root of the problem and strengthen value education among children in schools, he said. “If you see corruption, raise your voice”, he prescribed, expressing confidence that the vice can be removed with collective effort.
Racist remarks are reflective of deep rooted prejudices which tend to come out during times of crisis, he said in his answer to another question. Great personalities like Gandhiji and Martin Luther King have demonstrated how to fight racial discrimination. Touching upon ethical issues involved in research which may lead to ‘manufacture of life’ in laboratories, Shri Ansari opposed putting such research on hold. Technological advancement has always come with social challenges and history bears testimony that these challenges have always been overcome, he argued.
Participation in the political process is not only a right of every citizen, but also a duty, he said while welcoming youths to join politics. There are many forums, like youth wing of political parties and civil society, where youths can express their views, he elaborated.
A tribal student, who passed from KISS and is currently pursuing M.B.B.S. course in KIMS under full scholarship from KIIT, wanted to know what government proposes to do for higher education of meritorious but economically weak students of his community. Shri Ansari replied that while both Central and State Governments have scholarship schemes for socially and economically weaker sections, there is a need to make them more extensive. No meritorious student should be left behind for want of funds, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Bhandare told students to draw inspiration from Shri Ansari. Dr. Samanta has transformed the lives of tribal students through KISS, he said, while stating that they have not only excelled in academics, but also international level sports.
Earlier, Dr. Samanta expressed gratitude to the dignitaries for visiting KIIT and KISS. Their presence would be highly inspiration and be cherished for years, he said. Dr. Hari Gautam, Chancellor, KIIT University and Prof. A. S. Kolaskar also spoke on the occasion.