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Kingston Law School forges links with leading Indian institute

Posted Wednesday 7 August 2013

Dr Achyuta Samanta (left), Founder of the KIIT and the Kalinga Institute of Social Studies and Kingston Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg hope the new agreement will lead to opportunities for students from India and from the United Kingdom to learn from each other. Kingston University's Law School has entered into a special agreement with the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) in Bhubaneswar, India. A delegation from India visited the Kingston Law School on 5 August to sign a memorandum of understanding with the University's Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg.

KIIT is one of the top five private universities in India. Its founder, international philanthropist Dr Achyuta Samanta, was part of the group that visited Kingston for the official signing. Dr Samanta also founded and funds the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a charity housing and educating 20,000 tribal children from Odisha, one of the poorest states in India.

The institute, which grew out of KIIT, started up in 1993 as a residential school for 125 children. It is the only one of its kind in the world, providing free accommodation, food, healthcare, training and education from kindergarten right through to postgraduate level. As well as receiving an academic education, students at the institute also learn a skill or trade, placing them in a strong position to secure a job in the future. "Giving education to a deprived child is like giving sight to the blind," Dr Samanta said.

The agreement between Kingston Law School and KIIT could one day give students the opportunity to travel to India to teach young people being supported by the charity.

Dr Achyuta Samanta founded the Kalinga Institute of Social Studies which caters for children from 62 tribes and 13 primitive tribal groups in the Indian state of Odisha.

Head of Kingston Law School Professor Matthew Humphreys said the link would foster research collaboration between the two institutions. "In the future, it may be possible to establish programmes that allow students to achieve dual degree awards after studying at both Kingston and KIIT," he added.

Siri Harris, a senior lecturer from Kingston Law School who played a key role in cementing the relationship, visited the two Indian institutions in February. "KIIT is a most impressive university and the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences is a remarkable and inspiring enterprise," she said. "The link between Kingston University and KIIT should lead to exciting opportunities for students and staff in the future."

From left to right:  Dr Siddharth Satpathy, Associate Professor from KIIT Law School and Director of Academics at Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences; Professor J Martin Hunter from Nottingham Trent University and adviser to KIIT Law School; Dr Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KIIT and the Kalinga Institute of Social Studies; Professor Julius Weinberg, Vice-Chancellor, Kingston University; Professor Matthew Humphreys, Head of Kingston Law School and Ms Siri Harris, Senior Lecturer, Kingston Law School.

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