सोमवार, 26 सितंबर 2016

Performance of Dr. Sam Pitroda as Technology Advisor of Odisha Govt.

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.

Pradip Pradhan
Date- 26.9.16 

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