Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Wednesday launched Mission Suvidya -- a scheme aimed at bringing a qualitative shift in accommodation facilities provided to the Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) students across the state, an official statement said.
The SC-ST development department, in the presence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, signed agreements with three agencies - Quality Council of India (QCI), Akshara Foundation and TRIFED - to ensure basic facilities, such as functional toilets, drinking water supply and well-equipped kitchen, in all tribal and Dalit students' hostels.
Officials said the government runs as many as 6,500 SC-ST hostels, benefitting over 5.7 lakh students.
The QCI, according to the agreement, would assess and evaluate the quality of services provided at the ST- and SC- reserved hostels, with an objective to attain ISO certificate, the statement said.
Akshara Foundation, on the other hand, would cooperate and collaborate with the state government to improve learning outcomes, it explained.
The statement also said that TRIFED would provide "market linkages" to various products manufactured by tribal artisans and entrepreneurs.
"I am happy to launch Mission Suvidya that strives to bring qualitative shift in accommodation facilities provided to students in ST-SC hostels," Patnaik said.
He also released two illustrative booklets on 'Bathudi' and 'Gandia' tribal communities on this occasion.