VK Pandian, the former private secretary to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, is stepping into a new and significant role in the state’s administration. Recently, he opted for voluntary retirement from his civil service career, making way for his appointment as the Chairman of 5T (Transformational Initiatives) and ‘Nabin Odisha.’ This transition has elevated him to the rank of a Cabinet Minister, allowing him to work directly under Chief Minister Patnaik.
VK Pandian’s Remarkable Journey
VK Pandian’s journey to this pivotal role has been one of dedication and service. He began his career as a sub-collector in Dharmagarh and subsequently took on the responsibilities of district collector in Mayurbhanj and Ganjam. This early experience shaped his understanding of governance and administration, laying the foundation for his future contributions to Odisha.
Championing the 5T Governance Charter
Pandian has a significant role to play in the Odisha government’s 5T governance charter. This charter revolves around the core principles of Transparency, Technology, Teamwork, and Time, all of which are aimed at leading to Transformation. In the past, Pandian served as the secretary for this initiative, and his work has been instrumental in fast-tracking numerous projects. The success of the 5T approach is evident in the effective implementation of various state endeavors.
A Vision for Heritage and Development
VK Pandian’s influence extends beyond bureaucratic governance. He has been a driving force behind projects like the Sri Jagannath Heritage Corridor, which is set to create a 75-meter-wide corridor around the ancient Shree Jagannath Temple. This project aims to enhance the temple’s visibility and security, safeguarding a significant part of Odisha’s cultural heritage. Moreover, Pandian has actively participated in the restoration of ancient temples across the state, contributing to the preservation of cultural landmarks.
His extensive experience spans various aspects of governance and social welfare. Notably, Pandian embarked on a comprehensive tour of all 147 assembly constituencies in Odisha within a short six-month period. During these visits, he engaged with local communities, discussed issues of local importance, and evaluated the progress of development projects. His commitment to ensuring the welfare of the people is evident, especially during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when he conducted inspections to assess the readiness of healthcare facilities.
Mo Sarkar: Revolutionizing Citizen Involvement
One of Pandian’s notable contributions to the Odisha government is the ‘Mo Sarkar’ program. This flagship initiative focuses on enhancing citizen involvement in governance. It achieves this by collecting random feedback from citizens to assess the effectiveness of public services. By holding government functionaries accountable for their actions, ‘Mo Sarkar’ has made significant strides in improving public services and ensuring that they meet the needs and expectations of the people.
The Early Years of VK Pandian
VK Pandian’s career in the civil service began in 2000, marking the start of his remarkable journey. He initially served as a sub-collector in Dharmagarh, where he gained valuable experience in the field. His dedication and commitment to public service quickly propelled him into roles of greater responsibility, including district collector positions in Mayurbhanj and Ganjam.
The 5T Governance Charter in Action
The 5T governance charter, an integral part of Odisha’s administration, has benefited significantly from VK Pandian’s expertise. This charter, founded on the principles of Transparency, Technology, Teamwork, and Time, has been a game-changer in the state’s governance. Pandian’s prior role as its secretary played a pivotal role in accelerating various projects, ultimately leading to their successful implementation.
Preserving Heritage and Enabling Progress
VK Pandian’s involvement in projects like the Sri Jagannath Heritage Corridor underscores his commitment to preserving Odisha’s rich cultural heritage while simultaneously fostering progress. This ambitious project, set to construct a 75-meter-wide corridor around the historic Shree Jagannath Temple, promises to enhance both its visibility and security, ensuring the preservation of a vital part of Odisha’s cultural identity. Additionally, Pandian’s role in the restoration of ancient temples contributes to the state’s heritage conservation efforts.
In his multifaceted career, Pandian has ventured into various facets of governance and social welfare. An outstanding example of his commitment is his exhaustive tour of all 147 assembly constituencies in Odisha within a remarkably short six-month period. During these visits, he actively engaged with local communities, addressing issues of local significance and assessing the development projects in progress. His dedication to ensuring the well-being of the people became even more evident during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, as he diligently inspected healthcare facilities to assess their readiness.
Empowering Citizens: The ‘Mo Sarkar’ Initiative
VK Pandian’s lasting impact on Odisha’s governance can be seen through the ‘Mo Sarkar’ program. This initiative is a testament to his vision of involving citizens actively in the decision-making process. By collecting random feedback from citizens, ‘Mo Sarkar’ assesses the effectiveness of public services, ensuring government functionaries are held accountable for their actions. This innovative approach has not only improved public services but has also empowered citizens by giving them a voice in the administration of their state.
VK Pandian’s journey from a sub-collector to a Cabinet Minister is a testament to his dedication, commitment, and vision for Odisha. His contributions to the 5T governance charter, heritage preservation, and citizen involvement have left an indelible mark on the state’s administration. As Odisha continues to progress and preserve its cultural heritage, VK Pandian remains a driving force behind these transformative initiatives.