Odisha: KIIT University Honors Bill Gates with Prestigious KISS Humanitarian Award

Bhubaneswar, 29th February 2024: Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, received the esteemed KISS Humanitarian Award 2023 from Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) University at a ceremony held on February 28 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

The recognition, KIIT University’s highest honor, celebrates Gates’ remarkable contributions to global well-being, particularly his commitment to improving global health, education, and addressing climate change through groundbreaking technological solutions aimed at reducing inequality. The virtual ceremony witnessed participation from KIIT and KISS staff, students, and alumni, highlighting Gates’ significant impact on humanitarian efforts worldwide.

Initiated by Achyuta Samanta in 2008, the KISS Humanitarian Award stands as a testament to the institute’s commitment to recognizing individuals and organizations embodying the spirit of humanitarianism on a global scale.

Expressing gratitude for the honor, Bill Gates commended the transformative work led by Dr. Samanta and KISS. Gates stated, “Thank you very much for this wonderful honor and for welcoming me here,” extending congratulations to Dr. Samanta for his remarkable achievements. Gates praised Dr. Samanta’s vision and dedication to providing quality education to indigenous communities, emphasizing the significance of civic engagement and a community-centric approach to education.

The felicitation event saw participation from alumni, staff, and students of KIIT and KISS. A notable highlight of the occasion was Gates’ engaging discussion on gender equality, sparked by a question from a KISS alumnus.

Professor Achyut Samant, the visionary Founder of KIIT, KISS, and KIMS, hailed the conferral of the KISS Humanitarian Award upon Bill Gates as not only a recognition of his extraordinary contributions but also as a testament to the esteemed honor’s prestige. He remarked that Gates’ acceptance sets a new benchmark for global humanitarian endeavors, underscoring the honor it brings to have Gates join the esteemed list of recipients.

Established in 2008 by Professor Achyuta Samanta, the KISS Humanitarian Honors represent the highest accolade conferred by KIIT and KISS, dedicated to honoring individuals and organizations exemplifying the spirit of humanitarianism globally. The award comprises a citation and a gold-plated trophy, symbolizing the virtues of purity, kindness, prosperity, and hope. Previous recipients of this prestigious award include a diverse array of global leaders, Nobel laureates, and eminent figures from various fields, illustrating the award’s international acclaim and reverence.

The KISS Humanitarian Award has been bestowed upon numerous distinguished personalities, including Madam Edna Bomo Molewa, former Prime Minister of the North-Western Province of South Africa; Dr. Ham-Ki-Sun, President of Hanseo University and an exceptional ophthalmologist from South Korea; Mr. Aniruddha Jugnauth, President of the Republic of Mauritius; Rt. Honorable Lord Justice Nicholas Addison Phillips, President of the Supreme Court of the UK; Lyonchhen Jigmi Thinley, Prime Minister of Bhutan; Madame Albina du Boisrouvere, Founder of FXB International, Switzerland; His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Spiritual Leader and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2005; Professor Muhammad Yunus, Founder of Grameen Bank, Bangladesh, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Mr. Dansa Kourouma, Chairman of the National Transition Council of Guinea; and Mama Rachel Ruto, First Lady of the Republic of Kenya.

Prof. Amareshwar Galla, Pro-Chancellor of KISS Deemed University and UNESCO Chair on Inclusive Museum and Sustainable Heritage Development, conveyed gratitude on behalf of KISS to Bill Gates and all those who have benefited from his philanthropic endeavors.