A day subsequent to the central government's endorsement of the voluntary retirement of V K Pandian, a prominent Odisha cadre IAS officer, and the private secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the state administration has appointed him as the chairman of 5T (Transformational Initiatives) and Nabin Odisha, bestowing upon him a cabinet rank.
According to an official order issued by the state General Administration Department, Pandian will directly report to the Chief Minister, a clear indication that this former bureaucrat from the 2000 batch will persist in exerting substantial influence over the governance.
The 5T initiative, conceptualised during Patnaik's current fifth term as a means to revamp the administrative framework, is widely attributed to Pandian.
The "Ts" in 5T represent Transparency, Teamwork, Technology, and Time, all converging toward Transformation.
Under its aegis, the Patnaik administration asserts to have revamped over 4,000 high schools in Odisha, complete with upgraded classrooms, laboratories, and playgrounds.
Although the state government's official directive remains somewhat ambiguous regarding Pandian's specific role, insider sources suggest that the former IAS officer will assume an influential position.
This development is due to the fact that numerous pivotal state government programmes and projects fall within the ambit of 5T, which has extended its reach into nearly every Odisha government department.
Having recently received approval from the Odisha government, the Rs 4,000 crore 'Ama Odisha, Nabin Odisha (Our Odisha, New Odisha)' scheme, wherein each panchayat is allocated Rs 50 lakh to undertake diverse projects, will now be executed under Pandian's direct oversight.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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