At the age of four, Professor Dr Achyuta Samanta lost his father in a tragic train accident leaving seven siblings and his mother. The youngest sibling was only about a month old and the eldest 17 years old. All the siblings grew up in the midst of severe poverty in a very remote village of Odisha in India. Achyuta did odd menial jobs here and there voluntarily and helped his widowed mother to augment her income. Amidst such crusading hardships he pursued his education and obtained Master Degree in Chemistry and started teaching in a local college and at the same did private tutoring to supplement his income.
In 1992 –93, he decided to set up two institutions and ventured into it with a mere Rs 5000.00 in rented building. Today, the institutions he founded, KITT University, is a multi-disciplinary university with a current student strength of 27,000 and Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), is the world’s largest fully-free residential Kindergarten-to-Post Graduate institute for 25,000 poorest-of-the-poor indigenous aborigine children. He also founded The Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, a medical college with 2000 bedded hospital and other allied institutes like Dental and Nursing Colleges. Professor Dr Achyuta Samanta, is now a Professor in Chemistry and is the General President of Indian Science Congress Association (ISCA) for the term 2017/2018.
A visionary social architect who embarked in 1992 on a social development mission using education as a tool to eradicate poverty, a goal envisaged today by global leaders as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Prof Achyuta Samanta has served as member of 15 Government of India Bodies, a Commission Member (2008-2014) of University Grants Commission (UGC), AICTE and NCTE. He is also a member of several important international bodies including CIFEJ in Dubai.
He has been elected as General President (2017-18) of the 105th Indian Science Congress. He is the recipient of several international, 50 national and 200 state level awards. He has also received 33 Degrees of Doctorate/Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from different Universities in India and abroad. He was honored with 4 National and International Fellowships. In addition KISS acquired two Guinness World Records and four Limca Book of Records including one scripted in his name as the Youngest Chancellor of any University in India. Poverty alleviation through spread of quality education (school, higher and professional) and creating agents’ of Change is his greatest achievement. He is empowering about 3 Million people through education and skill development in collaboration with a number of organizations like UNFPA and UNDP.
Currently, he is working to establish 20 branches of KISS spread across 20 districts of Odisha and another 20 branches across the country. As a social reformer he has been propagating ART OF GIVING, a philosophy of life concept aimed at bringing peace to human minds around the globe; ART OF APPRECIATION - spreading the message of the Art of Appreciation; and INDIA AGAINST NEGATIVITY to annihilate negativity in human minds.
Professor Achyuta lives a simple life in a two room rented house without any personal property and has chosen to remain a bachelor. He quotes, “I struggled for food for the first 25 years of my life and now, my struggle is to provide food to millions of deprived and underprivileged children through KISS.”