To focus on digital skills and literacy among tribal youth, the Central University of Odisha launched Tribal Digital Literacy programme on 12th August at its Campus in collaboration with FIDR, Bhubaneswar.
The Centre will be operative at the Centre for Tribal Welfare and Community Development (CTWCD) of the University at Koraput to train the youth belonging to ST, SC, OBC, and other marginalised communities of the Koraput district on digital skills. The Centre was formally inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor I/c of the University Prof. Sharat Kumar Palita along with the Founder Chairman of FIDR Dr. Charudatta Panigrahy. The Inaugural Session was also attended by other dignitaries including Guha Poonam Tapas Kumar, IAS, Director, ST ; ST & SC, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department (M & BCW), Government of Odisha as the Chief Guest, Raghuram Padal, MLA, Koraput and Sushil Kumar Padhy, Executive Director, NALCO, Damanjodi as Guests of Honour.
The Vice-Chancellor I/c Prof. Palita informed the audience that the launching of the programme is a landmark event in the sense that it offers hope for the marginalised sections of the Koraput District to be digital literate, a step towards self-employabilty. Though the programme starts with some basic computer courses, it will offer higher courses in future. Panigrahi, Founder, FIDR emphasized on the development of the livelihood of the people of backward regions by referring to Atma Nirbhar Bharat launched by the Government of India. Describing Koraput as the Gold Mine area of the country, he was hopeful that from this Programme the people of this region will be benefited and their socio-economic parameters will be increased.
Director ST, Odisha Guha Poonam highlighted the rich tribal culture, art & craft, tradition and education. Appreciating the University’s effort towards imparting digital education in Koraput, she hoped that this Programme should be a game changer in Tribal Development. She highlighted various schemes and projects of the Government of Odisha for integrated tribal development and assured assistance from the State Government whenever necessary.
MLA, Padal highlighted the importance of education for all-round development. He said “the University is successfully creating the aspiration level of people in the Koraput region on higher education. Majority of students of this region took admission in CUO to get their higher education”. He was hopeful that with increase of faculty strength, the University can provide much higher access at par with other leading universities.
ED, NALCO Padhy appreciated the University’s endeavours towards imparting higher education and digital education in this region. He said “the centre will lead the digital education movement and it will enhance the various skills in the region”.
Dr. Kapila Khemundu, Hony. Director of CTWCD and Coordinator of the Tribal Literacy Centre delivered the welcome address and remembered the effort and initiative to establish the Centre taken by the Late Vice-Chancellor Prof. I Ramabrahmam. Prof. Asit Kumar Das, Registrar of the University highlighted the concept note of the programme.
It may be noted that The Tribal Digital Literacy Centre aims to provide computer knowledge to marginalized sections of the society in the age group of 16-25 yrs. free of cost for a period of three years. Initially, different Certificate courses of varying durations will continue with few batches of students, consisting of Class 10 pass outs or non-pass outs and including Class 12 pass outs and non-pass outs.