Amidst huge propaganda and media hype, Dr. Sam Pitroda with Cabinet Minister status was appointed as Technology Advisor in January 2016. The State Government left no stone unturned taking credit by appointing Dr. Pitroda, a man of international repute as Technology Advisor. As I recall, it generated much enthusiasm and expectation among different section of the people believing that his expertise and long experience in the field of communication and IT will give a lot of benefit to the state. Out of curiosity to know about his performance and contribution in the field of IT for the state since last eight months, I had filed two RTI Application to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology seeking information about details of appointment, Terms of Reference with Dr. Pitroda and any report/ advice given by him to State Govt. etc. . The details of information provided by the PIO on 19.8.16 and 26.9.16 is as follows.
1. The Justification given by the State Govt. in respect of Dr. Pitroda’s appointment as Technology Advisor is that In view of his domain expertise and long association in the field of communication and IT, the State Govt. took this decision as it will be beneficial for the state ( reference- copy of file noting).
2. TOR signed with Dr. Pitroda is as follows.
i. He was appointed for three years and will be extended subsequently.
ii. He will advise the Government for formulation of the strategies and policies to be adopted for development of IT/IES/ESDM sector in the state.
iii. He will review the progress achieved in development of IT sector in the state.
iv. Resource on advocacy to attract national and foreign investment shall be considered by Govt. of Odisha.
v. No salary, insurance and remuneration shall be paid to Sri Pitroda during his period of service
vi. The expenses towards travel and accommodation for his visit to Odisha from New Delhi shall be borne by Government of Odisha
3. On query about any report or document produced by Dr. Pitroda, the PIO has provided just a copy of power point presentation ( 15 slide) about his proposed programme which was made in January at the time of his appointment. Within last 8 months, Dr. Pitroda has not provided any report to the State Govt. about his intervention or work assigned as per TOR.
4. Dr. Pitroda has not visited Odisha since his joining as Technology Advisor. That’s why he has not produced his travel Bill for reimbursement.
1. Dr. Pitroda might be satisfied with cabinet minister status and getting benefit using this status without contributing anything for our beloved state within 8 months.
2. It will be advisable on part of State Govt. to fix remuneration and price for him against the work assigned to him as per TOR. So that accountability will be fixed and the State Govt. can monitor his performance.
3. If this practice continues, it will no way give any benefit to the IT sector of the state.