Odisha: With govt change, state bureaucracy set for overhaul

Similarly, principal secretary of IT and Electronics department Manoj Mishra has put in his papers.
Odisha CM Mohan Charan Majhi
Odisha CM Mohan Charan MajhiPhoto | Express

BHUBANESWAR: The bureaucracy in Odisha is poised for a major shift following the change in government after over two decades. With the BJP storming to power, the state’s administrative apparatus is certain to witness a transition to align it with the new dispensation’s approach to governance and policy implementation.

A large scale bureaucracy rejig is anticipated soon as the BJP government will want to infuse freshness into the administration while dismantling the current power dynamics. Nearly two-thirds of the officers in the existing bureaucratic set up have been under one regime and steeped in a particular style of functioning for over 24 years.

Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi has two deputy chief ministers and the move is set to redefine the administrative landscape of the state with a new approach to leadership and governance. Political analysts believe the BJP regime will be different from the previous government, which they said, was being run by a small group of bureaucrats with less or absolutely no consultation with the elected public representatives.

Moreover, with change in political leadership, there is a palpable sense of anticipation among bureaucrats regarding the direction and focus of the first BJP government. As corruption was one of the main poll issues of the BJP, the new government is likely to introduce reforms aimed at enhancing transparency, efficiency and accountability, starting with the administrative machinery. As part of an imminent restructuring, the state government has already sought the list of retired officers who have been re-engaged in various departments.

The new government will also have to take a call on two top positions. Chief secretary PK Jena is on a six-month extension, while director of Biju Patnaik State Police Academy Arun Kumar Sarangi has been in additional charge of DGP since January 1.

Immediately after the poll outcome, the state witnessed a spate of resignations of some senior bureaucrats who held key positions close to the power centre. Among those who have already resigned include retired IAS officers R Balakrishnan, Suresh Chandra Mahapatra and Upendra Tripathy, who served as chief advisor (special initiatives), chief advisor to chief minister’s office (CMO) and advisor to CMO, respectively.

Similarly, principal secretary of IT and Electronics department Manoj Mishra has put in his papers. A 2000-batch Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer, Mishra had quit the Central government service to join the state on a contractual basis following cabinet approval.

More resignations are expected in coming days as scores of bureaucrats and government employees have been engaged as OSDs in different departments post-retirement. Besides, several bureaucrats, who are in key posts for long years in violation of prevailing rules, are likely to be shifted. A number of collectors, SPs, DIGs and IGs, who are considered to be close to the outgoing dispensation will come under scrutiny.

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