Odisha aims to make each family a Nano-Skilled center: Skill Odisha Team Leader Ashok Dash

Odisha is awarded as the best performing state in skill development under the Deen Dayal Upadhya Gramin Koushal Yojana (DDU-GKY). In Odisha, the project implementation is overseen by Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) but PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is the technical support agency to ORMAS. In a free flow interview with Ashok Dash, who works with PwC and is the Team Leader of Skill Odisha project, Pradeep Baisakh, Senior Editor of Orissa Diary finds out what makes Odisha the best in skills.

Orissa Diary (OD): Odisha has been awarded as the best performing state this year by the Government of India in skill development. Who do you give credit for this as the team leader of Skill Odisha?

Ashok Das: It is the synergy. The unconditional support from Government of Odisha headed by honourable Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik towards innovation, vivid involvement by the Commissioner-cum-Secretary, strategy planning by the State Mission director and the tireless effort by the entire skill team. The fact that the Executive Director of ORMAS (Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society), Mr. B.N Das is the architect of this mission “Best Performance” and also the general to lead the victory is well known.

OD: What made Odisha the best performing state?

Innovation, support system and complete transformation of work culture. ORMAS (Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society) works completely in a professional manner, where monitoring, analysis, implementation and grievance redressal are addressed within a specific time limit. We have a framework of operation that is followed rigorously.  Few points can be discussed here those led to the success.

  • The state has accepted project Implementing agencies as Partners and not just contractors and we do take responsibilities of each deliverable.


  • We are involved in mass awareness, skill- mobilization, placement support, every stake holder’s capacity building and internationally acclaimed certification for candidates.
  • We have foreign placement for candidates
  • There is a Migrant Support center to help the migrating candidates with life and living.

Now the slogan is:“Are you skilled? Or Skilled in Odisha?”

OD: How are you contributing to Skill Odisha?

We are spearheading the skill Odisha movement by number and productivity. We have done most number of placements in the country. You may appreciate that the top 20 salary package of the country under DDU-GKY (Deen Dayal Upadhya Gramin Koushal Yojana) skill development program comes to the Odisha candidates. And most number of Skill Icons or the role models are skilled in Odisha.


Qn: How many youth have you trained in Odisha since Skill Odisha has been commenced and how many have got placement?

Around 64,000 candidates are trained and more than 47,000 have been given placement so far. This cumulative number increases every day.

OD: What are the categories of youth you are targeting for skill development?

 Our target beneficiary is of one category only. “Unemployed-rural youth”. We do take care of skill development of the caste, tribal, minority, women and people with disability as per the MoRD guideline. ORMAS has taken initiative for Skill-Gap study with International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Odisha for filling the demand and supply driven workforce requirement.

OD: What’s the target and long-term plan of Skill Odisha?

 Odisha has a huge plan for skill development. It will prepare database of 2 million youths by 2020 -, called Mission-20. It will train and place 8, 00,000 youths in next 10 years. It Aims at becoming the skill hub of the country. As a National Resource Organization, Odisha aims to guide the country for skill development. It’s planning to join hands with reputed international organizations for sector specific skill development. It aims at making each family of Odisha a Nano-skilled center and to employ at least one person from each household of Odisha contributing to 10 million skilled work forces in next 20 years.


OD: What is your role as a Team Leader?


Apart from being the nodal officer of 9 project implementations agencies (PIAs) directly, as a team leader, I am also responsible for the overall operation, management, monitoring and evaluation, delivery and target for training as well as placement. I do take the responsibility of quality in every aspect. I am too liable for all the short falls, problem areas and gaps in assessment and deployment. I take care of the digital part of skill development for a flawless, paperless operation, skill Gap study etc. I report to the Executive Director of ORMAS.

OD: How you are related to the government and how you got to do this work?

 In fact I am the employee of the PricewaterhouseCoopers India Pvt Ltd which is a Technical Support Agency for ORMAS to implement and operate the skill development program under DDU-GKY in Odisha. PwC has bagged the contract with government bidding process and ORMAS is our client. I am representing PwC and report to the Executive Director of ORMAS for all my day-to-day activities.

OD: What transformation you think Skill Odisha will bring to the state?

Skill Odisha has huge potential to expedite and add value to the process of development unleashed by the Naveen Pattnaik government in Odisha. Imagine when every youth in a rural family is skilled and gets a job through this process. There will be no poverty in state in a long run with each poor family having a sound income. A skilled youth is an asset to the family and the state. Skill gives a youth an identity. She or he will be involved in in constructive purposes nation building, serving the state and their families instead of allying with destructive forces.



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