ICTs Cost Intensive But Save On Many Counts : Dr Achyutananda Samanta, Chancellor, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT), Bhubaneswar, Orissa

Would you please give a sort of overview of KIIT’s educational initiatives in terms of the courses it provide, the education model with the use of technology, etc.?
KIIT is one of the most vibrant campuses in the country and offers a wide spectrum of academic programmes from Kindergarten to Postgraduate level, a fact of Limca Book of Records. The Academic programmes of KIIT University, offered from its six schools, are accredited by NBA of AICTE and NAAC of UGC, which are benchmarks of excellence. All the academic programmes are approved by Statutory Bodies of Government of India, besides UGC. The constituent Schools of KIIT University are Schools of Technology, Computer Application, Management, Rural Management, Biotechnology and KIIT National Law School. Within a short span of time, KIIT has become a preferred and sought after academic destination in India and abroad. At present, more than 8000 students belonging to 20 nationalities study here full time and another 50,000 aspire to be part of it every year for a
secure future.  

In emerging trends of e-Learning, where do you place KIIT? What are the innovative e-Learning solutions, best practices or policies specific to this deemed University that make it a successful learning destination?
KIIT is an early adopter of contemporary technology in education delivery and today its campuses are at par with the best in the globe in terms of use of technology. It is one of the first institute in the country to provide a laptop to each student. Converged wireless network of KIIT make available a vast amount of intellectual resources at a student’s fingertips from anywhere within the campuses. ICICI has recently set up its e-Learning Centre in collaboration with KIIT. It is a testimony to the corporate confidence on KIIT’s capabilities in the field of e-Learning.       

How can education prepare individuals and society to benefit from ICT that increasingly permeate all realms of life? How can ICT bring about a better balance between equity and excellence in education?
There are instances where KIIT graduates have ushered in a new outlook conducive to the use of ICTs in the organisations they have joined. As the global village increasingly becomes dependent on knowledge and its fast dissemination, ICT is set to play a crucial role in all realms of life. Education can simplify the technology and help society acquire the basic minimum skill set necessary for its use.        

Do you think what you’ve been able to do in this University is replicable in other institutes or in other educational contexts?
Absolutely. While setting up the ICT infrastructure is cost intensive, it subsequently results in savings on several counts; thus, more than making up for the initial investment. However, it is important to keep up with the new technology in the field from time to time.   

What are the challenges you face in achieving the targets that you have set for KIIT? What has been your forte so far?
So far as ICT is concerned, new technology comes at a high price. As KIIT is a purely self financing institution, this has been a challenge. However, I am satisfied that we have been able to overcome all constraints effectively.

Our forte has been relentless pursuit of excellence and education with a human touch.   

What are the new programmes being planned, specifically in the e-Learning arena? Where do you see the University five years hence?
A few more programmes to be offered exclusively in e-Learning mode are in the offing. We are working on a blueprint to make KIIT University an internationally respected educational destination in next five years.  

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