By Nilambar Rath

We are aware of our lacuna in health sector, energy sector and education sector. All these must be addressed in a state strategic plan for development or we will miss the bus to be a globally excellent state. 

Bhubaneswar, 24 February 2017: The state of modern Odisha is 80 years old. It is going to complete 100 years in 2036. More importantly, it is going to be demographically young Odisha. Therefore, it is essential to have a clear roadmap of next twenty years to harness the demographic dividend, says eminent educationist Prof. Asoka Das.

The former scientist at Bhabha Atomic and Research Centre (BARC) and currently the Vice Chancellor of Utkal University, Prof. Das briefly shares his vision with OdishaLIVE prior to his presentation at ‘Odisha Ahead’, the conclave to be held at Bhubaneswar on 25 February 2017.

‘Invest Bhubaneswar’, a forum of entrepreneurs and starts ups, is organising the conclave with an aim to host over 20 Odia thought leaders of our time who will share their vision for the rapid and sustainable growth of the state in the coming two decades. Prof. Das is one among the speakers who are going to share their ideas for at the occasion.

Highlighting the crucial need of the hour he says that, Odisha stands at a critical juncture today. It is gradually becoming an educational Hub, IT hub and has a reasonably stable government. There is an awareness of the great potential in mining, forest resources, agriculture and above all human capital. We are also aware of our lacuna in health sector, energy sector and education sector. All these must be addressed in a state strategic plan for development or we will miss the bus to be a globally excellent state.

How do you see the potential of the state, in the national and global scenario, and what would you strongly recommend to explore the full potential of the land? While answering this question Prof. Das says, “I will restrict my answer to human capital and education. Both of these areas need careful harnessing for any development to happen. Odisha’s potential in these areas are simply enormous. They are the precursors to all round growth. Focus must be on these.”

“Conclave ‘Odisha Ahead’, initiated by ‘Invest Bhubaneswar’ is a good idea”, says Prof. Das. However, he advises that implementation of the recommendations emerging collectively at such knowledge platforms are extremely important. “Conclaves are known to be a lot of speech but very little concrete implementation of strategy and recommendations to the government. I hope this breaks a barrier through devising a dialogue among stake holders” he puts his point straight.

For a strategic development plan, there has to be a vision, mission, SWOC and then specific goals supplemented by possible implementation strategy. Hope this gets defined. “My best wishes for the above to happen” he says while expressing his pleasure to be a part of such vision exercise.

(To track what’s happening at the event please log on to: www.odishaahead.com)

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