Odisha Signs MoU With University Of Chicago Trust For Data Analysis To Advance Innovations, Policy Decisions

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Saturday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Chicago Trust, India, to set up a Data, Policy, and Innovation Centre (DPIC) to enable rigorous, evidence-based governance while using new advances in econometrics, data science, and machine learning.

OCAC CEO & Additional Secretary E&IT Department Manoj Kumar P Patnaik and Executive Director University of Chicago Center in India, Leni Chaudhari signed the MoU in Bhubaneswar in presence of Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Sports and Youth and Home(S) Tusharkanti Behera, and Special Secretary E&IT Department and MD OCAC Manas Ranjan Panda.

The scope of this programmatic partnership will involve researchers from the University of Chicago providing data analysis and evaluation assistance to the Odisha government schemes and policies to benefit the state districts and blocks, an official release said.

“We are excited to work with the researchers at EPIC India and help lead Odisha to become a leading data centre hub. Using evidence-backed research, we hope the DPIC will act as a centre of excellence for collecting “big data” from many sources, analyzing that data using contemporary econometric and statistical models, and producing the necessary creative policy guides, ” said Manoj Pattnaik.

Under this partnership, researchers from the University of Chicago will aid the state government in conducting research, monitoring, impact evaluation, and project implementation in the energy and environment, health, education, agriculture, and water and sanitation sectors. Along with that, the partnership will also entail the capacity development of personnel and institutions for creating a hub for modern data analysis and knowledge sharing.

Outlining the different contours of DPIC with its technical and application possibilities, Senior Fellow at the Energy Policy Institute, University of Chicago, Anant Sudarshan said, “To enable rigorous, evidence-based governance under the programme, we have outlined a three-pronged strategy that would include creating a hub for modern data analysis, field pilots using randomized control trials and training and capacity building.”

Sudarshan is also a technical research advisor for this project.

Talking about the collaboration, Executive Director of the University of Chicago Center in India Leni Chaudhari, said, “We have previously joined Government of Odisha in rolling out the groundbreaking Star Rating Programme for industries, and we are looking forward to this new partnership that will help source big data efficiently and design innovative energy and environment solutions. We aim to bring our expertise in applied research on innovative policy ideas to develop mechanisms that facilitate increased energy access and reduced health and environmental problems.”


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