5Ts and our State – Charudatta Panigrahi – October 2019

Every time we need not build a new Odisha. A target based approach with timelines is the simplest and the best
way to achieve all round development. A transformed Odisha can always be the ‘new’ Odisha. The government
has set a management paradigm, 5T for itself and has vowed to review the targets set after a year on May 29,
2020. This commendable and futuristic approach would put valid pressure on the public systems. Gradually
accountability and appraisal would come out of the closet and public services can’t avoid public scrutiny. The
appraisal has started with the Police and the Forest department now, but I am sure that if this performance
monitoring system sustains, nothing can stop it from naturally progressing to other departments. I have always
maintained that the office of the Collector is the fulcrum of district development. If the Collector’s office is
equipped with smart HR and technologies, ‘competitive federalism’ can simplify to ‘competitive districts’.
Progress card would say it all. This would augur well for the career of a fresh and young IAS or an IPS or an IFS
officer and hence in turn, for all the other officers in the districts. District as a unit of development and the
collector’s office as the secretariat of district development is the best way to implement 5Ts – or rather
demonstrate 5Ts.
The 5Ts-Teamwork, Transparency, Time, Technology and Transformation, as propounded by the government,
should inch Odisha closer to be a $ 1trillion economy. If it works at the last mile, it would soon become a practice
in the state. Rhetoric at the state level would reduce it to a catchphrase or a management case study with
limited appeal or application for the people. Odisha needs action on the ground.
The mining districts need the 5Ts to impact the following:
1. Health, Education and Employment to record at least 3X improvement in one year.
This is not a pipe dream. All the below surface, super-wealthy areas of the state are the tribal districts. This
paradox needs ironing. The needs of the communities need to be assessed; resources allocated with
department people tasked as program managers. The implementation of the programs should be done by the
experts, hired for a limited period. I would suggest lateral entry of experts into the programs, both at the state
and the sub-state levels.
2. The district GDP should be formulated, calculated and shared with the government implementors, the civil
society of the district. This is a good way of making the district development targets transparent and
decipherable for everyone in the district. The college students might like to intern at the Collectorate. That way,
they would be more mainstreamed. Today the youth of the district is at a distance from the development story.
This way civil society engagement in the development process would increase. The social media would be
rightfully and productively used. The entrepreneurs in the district would be more engaged. The CSR program
would be more targeted. Today the CSR programs are off the mark and mere rigmarole. Have you seen any
impact report of any CSR in any district website? We have to lend more voice to the tribals about their own
development and not ‘peddle” development politics in their name, like we have been doing with ‘poverty in
Odisha’ for about three decades now.
3. Sustainable Development Framework (SDF): Mining is going to add tremendous value to the national GDP (north
of 2%) immediately in the next 3-5 years. India’s socio-economic and political standing would be positively
impacted due to the mining in Odisha. There is a direct correlation. But what about the community people?
The Collectors should make the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) to be mandatorily adopted by the
mining companies. If we can make the SDF work for all our mines areas, believe me, Odisha would make a global
example in “Mining Best Practice”. The people should be made aware of the mining activities and nothing should
be encouraged to be done surreptitiously. In the past we have been looted by crony capitalism and have been
wilfully impoverished by the hideous business practices. Please encourage genuine Gram Sabhas.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Mission Shakti is one of the most impactful programs in a low income
economy which has changed the standing of women in the society. For the SHG members , the average income
from direct benefit and from linkages with government schemes, has risen north of 5X in the last six years. This
is legitimately unprecedented. 5T should help galvanise and make this movement a large scale, pan state
cooperative platform. This platform can make and trade a wide range of ethnic products and boost our identity,
tourism, ethnicity and household incomes. It is not only the government business (1,000 crore has been
earmarked for self-help groups) but the women should also look at global business. The NROs and NRIs should
be roped in.
The state has approved increasing the number of Kalia beneficiaries from 42 lakh to 75 lakh (about 16% of the
population) and sanctioned disbursal of funds. The 5T mantra should now roll into action and measure the
benefits and the impact. Otherwise we would complete the circle of inefficiencies scuttling last mile reach of
If 5T can help us in effective investments and RoI for the communities, our state would have no impediments
to reach $ 1 trillion size comfortably. We possess the resources, so our people should be the primary
beneficiaries, not secondary. 5T can help reverse this anomaly in roles.
5T formula, if percolated to the frontline functionaries of the government, has the potential to change the
character of the state – one from dependence to assertive ownership.
My trust in the Collector is unflinching and I firmly believe that 5T can deliver only with the active championing
by the Collectors. They are closest to the ground and they know the best. We, in the periphery should do our
best to support the Collectors. They need a lot of support in data, staff capacity building, contractual expert
appointments, a fixed tenure for themselves and regular dissemination of the development work they do, etc.
5T secretariat should utilise the local resources to do a quick situation analysis and tackle the imminent
requirements to plug the holes in access to public services. At the end 5T should result in rapid increase in the
average value of assets of people in rural areas and urban areas. Presently it is estimated at Rs 2.81 lakh —
which is lowest in the country. Even in urban, people having an average value of assets of Rs 7.9 lakh, is the
For the economy, state governance and the future of the people, 5T is indispensable.
Let’s do everything possible to preserve the splendour of our beloved state.

Charudatta Panigrahi

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