Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, launched Mission Suvidya to improve the basic services at scheduled caste and scheduled tribe hostels, here on Wednesday.

Mission Suvidya will ensure quality norms in basic facilities such as safe building, functional toilets, safe drinking water, proper kitchen and dining in SC-ST Development department hostels.

The department Wednesday signed three MoUs with Quality Council of India, Akshara Foundation and Trifed for the purpose.

The QCI will conduct a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of SC-ST hostels leading to quality assurance and quality sustenance with an objective to achieve ISO 9001:2015 Certification for these hostels.

QCI director general RP Singh and director tribal affairs director Sachin Yadav signed the agreement.

Akshara Foundation CEO Ashok Kamath and Sachin Yadav singed an MoU to improve the learning outcomes of the students. Akshara has develoed specific programmes like School Readiness Programme for Grade-1 students, class room/ hostel library programme, digital learning solutions and other programmes. The programme to will benefit more than 2 lakh students in first phase.

The third MoU was signed between Trifed’s Amit Bhatnagar and TDCCOL MD Sarat Mohanty to ensure market linkages to various products produced by tribal artisans and entrepreneurs.

The ST-SC development department is running 6,500 hostels with over 5.7 lakh students.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said,” The Mission has a maximum laid down standard for assuring and sustaining quality with an objective to achieve ISO certification. The endeavour confirms to the objective of our 5T initiative. I hope it will have a multiplier effect on the overall quality of education in the State.”

Patnaik also launched the logo and unveiled the dashboard of the Mission

ST-SC development minister Jaganath Saraka and development commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra were present.