Who is VK Pandian, the retired IAS officer who was appointed to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Cabinet?

VK Pandian’s appointment elevates him to the level of Cabinet Minister, allowing him to report directly to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

VK Pandian with Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.
VK Pandian with Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.


VK Pandian, a former private secretary to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, is now in a more prominent position. His new post as Chairman of 5T (Transformational Initiatives) and ‘Nabin Odisha’ comes shortly after he chose to leave from his civil service career. This appointment elevates him to the level of Cabinet Minister and allows him to report directly to Chief Minister Patnaik.

The Odisha government’s 5T governance charter, which focuses on Transparency, Technology, Teamwork and Time leading to Transformation, was formerly spearheaded by Pandian as its secretary. This initiative aims to fast-track multiple projects and has been pivotal in the successful implementation of various state endeavours.

Pandian’s mandate includes more than just bureaucratic governance. His contribution to large-scale projects such as the Sri Jagannath Heritage Corridor is remarkable. This upcoming project intends to build a 75-meter-wide tunnel around the old Shree Jagannath Temple, increasing both visibility and security. Furthermore, the guy has been a driving influence in the renovation of ancient temples around Odisha.

His background includes many facets of governance and social welfare. He visited all 147 assembly constituencies in Odisha over a six-month period, discussing local issues and appraising development projects. Pandian was also spotted evaluating the readiness of healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandian had a varied career in the civil service prior to his responsibilities in the upper echelons of Odisha’s government. He began his public service as a sub-collector in Dharmagarh as a 2000-batch IAS officer and then became district collector in Mayurbhanj and Ganjam.

His contributions have resulted in the Odisha government’s flagship programme, ‘Mo Sarkar,’ which promotes people participation in governance. The programme collects random feedback from citizens in order to evaluate the effectiveness of public services. This is thought to keep government officials accountable for their activities.

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