Bhubaneswar: In order facilitate new research, knowledge and capacity building state Government on Monday has signed a Statement of Intent (SOI) with the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Trust in India in presence of Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik at the State Secretariat here.
On behalf of Odisha Government, the SOI was signed by General Administration (GA) Department Special Secretary Ashok Meena with Chicago University Associate Chancellor and Senior Advisor to the President Balaji Srinivasan. Among others present during the occasion were state Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Development Commissioner R. Balakrishnan.
While speaking on the occasion, Pattnaik said one of the objectives for entering into the collaboration will also be to seek expertise in setting up a virtual academy for digitization, preservation and improved access to archival materials of Odia language and culture. This initiative will go a long way in preserving valuable lingual and cultural heritage resources of Odisha and also would provide better solutions to the basic needs of people of the State. He further expected the engagement between the state government and the University of Chicago to be mutually beneficial and rewarding.
In a statement, it has been mentioned that the partnership will cater to the needs of virtual academy for digitization, preservation and improved access of archival materials belonging to the state and would also help in research, monitoring & impact evaluation and pilot project implementation in the sectors of energy, environment, health, water and sanitation, capacity development of personnel and institutions, knowledge sharing through case studies on best initiatives of the state and other parts of the world
The university’s library is one of America’s finest research libraries serving as a repository of knowledge in various languages including Odia. As the University has established a digital platform for preserving and disseminating language and cultural resources, Odisha Government through Odisha Virtual Academy will make available Odia language and cultural resources to wider audiences.
However, it may be noted that the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Trust have already entered into a Statement of Intent with NITI Aayog and similar arrangements with a few State Governments.