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Human Development

How Odisha is transforming itself into one of the most developed states in India? Odisha Case Study

How Odisha is transforming itself into one of the most developed states in India? Odisha Case Study


  • GS 2 || Governance & Social Justice || Human Development || Concept of Development

Why in the news?

According to a recent national study on governance and performance in epidemic times, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is the most popular among his colleagues. Patnaik has changed Odisha since taking over the damaged, backward state in the aftermath of the 1999 supercyclone by building and ensuring a people-centric government paradigm.


  • Two decades ago, a monster storm wreaked havoc on Odisha, killing 10,000 people and ruining the lives and homes of millions. The beleaguered backwater state was struggling to keep its head above water.
  • CM Naveen Patnaik’s ascent to office soon after was, to a great extent, a gift to the state from the tragedy. A rudderless incumbent state administration gravely failed in disaster governance, and it swiftly lost credibility after being stung by public indignation.
  • Despite a resource crisis, a “New Odisha” led by him confidently confronted a triple whammy: a fatal global epidemic, the reversal of a million impoverished working-class people’s exodus, and the supercyclone Amphan two decades a frontline warrior state armed with a robust model of governance.

Odisha and its successful model:

The Odisha Model: Modern, empowered and progressive new Odisha

  • Elimination of hunger and poverty: It has been his main goal; distributing 1 per kilogram of rice to the needy, repairing leaks, and monitoring the public distribution system (PDS) have all been successful in addressing this issue. Aside from cash transfer programmes and a five-meal plan (Aahar), programs such as “Meals for Plastics,” conducted in conjunction with the United Nations Development Program, have tackled hunger by connecting it to pollution and waste management. Odisha claims to have pulled a record 8 million people out of poverty and vows to end poverty in the state by 2024.
  • Empowerment of people by launching welfare schemes: The empowerment of people has been a priority, with welfare programmes for all segments launched.
    • KALIA (Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation) targets marginal, small farmers and sharecroppers, whereas Jaga Mission gives land rights to slum residents.
    • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is being rigorously enforced, with the Adivasis, who make up 22 percent of Odisha’s population, benefiting greatly.
  • Universal healthcare scheme: Odisha has refused to adopt the federal government’s health-care plan. Instead, it has launched its own universal healthcare plan (Biju Swasthya Kalyana Yojana), which would benefit 70 lakh needy families from various socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Gender empowerment: Gender empowerment through Mission Shakti needs a special mention as it aims to empower around 60 lakh self-help groups.
    • From providing smartphones to interest-free loan of `3 lakh, the government has extended many schemes for them. By selecting women as one-third of the BJD candidates (seven out of 21) to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, and sending an uneducated SHG worker, Pramila Bisoi, to the Lok Sabha, Patnaik has showed his commitment towards gender equality.
  • Empowering youth and sport: CM of Odisha model has by and large received endorsement by media and civil society groups. While the youth relates to the government and appreciates its ability to showcase Odisha by hosting events like the Hockey World Cup.
  • Empowering senior citizen: The senior citizens are the beneficiaries of the Madhu Babu Pension Scheme.
  • Empowered the gram sabhas and panchayats: The government has empowered gram sabhas and panchayats by decentralizing authority, initiating awareness programs, providing financial and administrative assistance, and encouraging women, Scheduled Tribes, and Scheduled Castes to participate actively.

Disaster Governance:

  • Odisha developed disaster-resistant physical infrastructures, homes, and multifunctional cyclone/flood shelters, and pushed resources into panchayats over time, bolstering skills and capability.
  • The State Disaster Management Authority of Odisha (OSDMA) has been activated. The state established the multifunctional Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), installed the Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS), Doppler Weather Radar (DWR), Lightning Detection System, satellite phones, and the Cyclone/Flood Shelter Management and Maintenance Committee, and made local people stakeholders.
  • Zero casualties: As a result of establishing an integrated state institutions and people disaster governance model, Odisha was able to achieve “zero casualties” while evacuating millions of people to safe shelters in a short period of time with zero or minimal deaths during Cyclone Phailin (2013) and Cyclone Fani (2019).

Odisha fight against epidemics:

  • In addition to dealing with natural catastrophes such as cyclones, floods, and draughts on a regular basis, Odisha has also battled epidemics, plagues, and fatal illnesses like leprosy and malaria.
  • Anticipating a long fight, Odisha’s combat-malaria mission Durgama Anchalare Malaria Nirakaran (DAMaN) was a huge success. It distributed three months’ ration (1 per kg rice) and 1,000 to all families covered under the National Food Security Act (centre) and State Food Security Scheme (SFSS)

Invoking the Disaster Management Act, 2005, Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, and COVID-19 Regulations 2020:

  • Primary health centres: The authorities initially prepared all primary and community health centers before establishing 7,125 quarantine centers.
  • Measures to motivate and raise: The administration conducted concerted efforts to inspire and boost the morale of doctors and other health professionals. It paid four months’ salary in advance to all medical and paramedical staff, declared a 50 lakh insurance cover for frontline troops, and made appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) kits accessible.
  • Medical institutions: The state trained 500 physicians in medical institutions and 1,600 from AYUSH, as well as 900 dental residents and faculty members, 5,542 nursing students, and 1.17 lakh ASHA workers.
  • Self-explanatory portal: The state acquired data on registered individuals through a self-explanatory site, allowing for quick contract tracking and treatment, and created Mo Jeevan, a public commitment, to raise awareness.

Use of information technology to fight pandemic:

  • Proper Use of technology: Use of technology and communication became frequent and impressive during the lockdown. His interactions with panchayat officials and health workers through videoconferencing were motivational.

Way Forward

  • Even after getting consistent praise for his administration record, the Odisha government cannot afford to be complacent; his model must be safeguarded against degeneration and continually and innovatively improved.
  • To begin, the focus should be on real delivery at the grassroots level, fixing leaks, and balancing regional disparities. An unrivaled and trusted popular leader with widespread support does not need to devote additional time and resources to populist tools, propaganda apparatus, and image-building exercises.
  • Second, as the model’s kingpin, he can guarantee that the Chief Minister’s Office and his selected team of bureaucrats do not abuse their authority under the guise of people-centric government, and that they are held accountable. Rotating the core staff and injecting new expertise on a regular basis will increase efficiency and reduce vested interests.
  • Finally, there has been a simmering resentment as many party leaders have been marginalized by bureaucracy and feel powerless without access to the party’s top leadership.


Odisha has a skilled and motivated second-line leadership team that will carry on his governance model with a purpose to assure resource flow and growth, eliminate poverty, decrease economic and social disparities, revamp education and healthcare, and improve social indices.

Mains oriented question:

How can the Odisha model be an example for other states to work better at the time of crisis explained in detail? (200 words)