Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal, Director IIM Sambalpur, and Shri Jual Oram, Member of Parliament, Former Minister of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India was invited to deliver the address on “Initiative Policy Dialogue 2020, COVID-19 and life practice beyond a pandemic”, at the Jawaharlal Nehru College, Cuttack, Odisha, organized by the Department of History & Political Science in Collaboration with CARD, Odisha.
Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal delivered an insightful lecture on "Envisioning and New policy Dialogue for Odisha". He initiated his address by narrating the rich natural beauty & mineral capacity of Odisha. He highlighted despite this natural treasure, the Human Development Index isn't up to the mark because of the lack of an entrepreneurial mindset and multiple factors of human development index – education, health, and per capita income.
Quoting instances of some of the successful states like Gujarat, he mentioned despite any high quality of education, the state is progressing because of high entrepreneurship. He shared a couple of questions that each citizen of the state should ponder upon. How to build an entrepreneur? How to develop an innovative culture? What is the role of the government, society, and the institution?
Talking about the role of the government, he shared three kinds of policies that are vital for bringing a revolutionary change in Odisha. First is we need strong reforms that can empower people, this will in-turn help in increasing the human development index. Second is the need for a robust infrastructure that includes high-quality health services, school education, food distribution, logistics. He emphasized that along with physical, digital infrastructure should also be encouraged and must not be confined to a few cities.
The third most important policy is to come out with social security guarantee. He mentioned when the people of the state are ensured that there is no issue in getting a high-quality education, medical facilities and other basic necessities, people’s creativity will increase. He rightly pointed out “Empowering people is not about giving them the right to vote but also the right to basic necessities”.
Prof. Jaiswal further highlighted the role of organizations and individuals. Stating the great potential that Odisha tags along, he shared that high quality of human capital needs to be channelized into job creation. The ultimate focus should be on making Odisha – A state of pride, where people working here should feel proud and this is only possible when we have high-quality reforms, good infrastructure, and social security.
He mentioned that there is an urgent need to move towards more intellectual service-based industries, than relying on the traditional manufacturing industries. He shared that a provision must be there for these industries to develop in the state and create the right infrastructure. With Odisha having 62% of manpower in agriculture, there is a great scope for Organic farming & Agribusiness in the state.
For Tribal based industries, he stressed the need for digital marketing. He cited that tribals are very less enterprising in nature and are more focused on forest-based products and agriculture. The need is to give them a digital link and an entrepreneurial mindset that can help them move beyond their current zone. He shared that right now they are only selling in local markets, but this can be promoted across the world through the power of digital marketing.
For strengthening the political economy, Prof. Mahadeo Jaiswal shared that the district mining funds should be invested in local development. The tribal people are losing their land, their pride, the Central government must ensure that they get the basic infrastructure, education, and social security only then the state of Odisha can see real progress.
On preserving knowledge and the language for new India, Prof. Jaiswal emphasized the need for restoring the art and culture using digital policies. He stated that highly skilled workers are moving out of the profession due to a lack of market access. Along with restoring we need to enrich the art by the tool of digital marketing and help them in making self-sustainable professions.
Further, talking about Education vs development, he stated that development will not sustain unless you have good quality education. Acknowledging the NEP, he urged the participants to look at education from a point of view which is based on experimentation and not merely mugging up the textual knowledge. He shared that the knowledge must be created along with the teachers in the classroom. Research should not happen during PhD but should be started right from primary education. He mentioned that curiosity and creativity should be the key focus.
For the teachers, he shared that they should think about what is their role. The role of them should be to create knowledge. He rightly pointed out for years, we have been following the British legacy in education which was designed to create servants and not masters.
He concluded by encouraging the participants to look at education in a new light, where the focus is on creating a market, building an entrepreneurial mindset, making the best use of digital technology to enable the tribal and weaver community of Odisha to get access to national as well as international markets. Also, for the citizens of Odisha to become job creators.