For K Sudershan Chakraborty(Think beyond the white-collar label), the post of a civil servant is not merely a badge of honor. It mandates delivery responsibilities more than occupying a post. In a telephonic interview with The Interview Times, he opens up on an array of responsibilities that behooves of a civil servant.
Q. Sir, you always wished to be a software engineer. How did you decide to switch over to IAS?
That’s absolutely true! But becoming an IAS officer is emblematic of my growing wisdom in the context of rapid change of time. The more you grow, the better you discover the chances within you.
The same thing happened to me. Over a period of time, I have always tried to push myself for the best. Although it was tough to change gears to civil service, I had steeled myself to take the challenges head-on.
If you are endowed with this mindset, your studying pattern could change overnight. This is the only recipe for overcoming all odds once you are determined to succeed.
Q Software Engineer and a Civil Servant, you have tasted both glasses of water. What lessons have you picked up?
Ans- Frankly speaking, both jobs require sheer performance and creativity in launching you in the long run. Today, civil service is no longer a white-collar job. It’s as exacting and dynamic a job as engineering.
These days, our performance is appraised on how creatively you discharge your service in a time-bound manner regardless of which high profile job you are holding.
Q. You were born and raised in Hyderabad. Now, you are serving most parts of Odisha. Do you feel politically and culturally sense here?
It has been a meaningful and significant stay in Odisha. People here are good-natured and sober.
I( Think beyond the white-collar label ) have no qualms in admitting that I’m the luckiest person to be assigned by the government to uphold the people’s rights and ensure they get the benefits from government schemes. For me, it’s like a second home away from home.
To answer the second part of your question on if I am influenced by politics, you need to understand that being government servants, our job is to follow the government rule book and discharge our services in a righteous way wherever we work.
No matter how good or bad the circle of politics around us, our relationship with the public in the larger interest of the society counts.
Q. Balasore is the most populous district and infamous for its communal disharmony. How do you plan to restore religious amity and take-off development?
You may have this idea in the past but now things have changed. Since I assumed charge, no such event has flared up.
Rather, I( Think beyond the white-collar label ) should say that our administration has reached out to all cross-sections of people and ensure that no deserving beneficiary is left out of government schemes and interventions.
I( Think beyond the white-collar label ) feel that the government must consult people so that the faith of the communities is intact in the government machinery.
Q. There is a huge buzz on 5T which recently emerged as a new department of the Odisha government. How do you see it?
I don’t view 5T only as a buzz because its effects are already visible on the ground. It has enabled a sea change in the improvement of the health sector of any district.
Now, there is a competitive interest brewing among the officials to serve the district better. Our own district headquarter hospital is heading towards a safe and secure health service provider, a striking contrast from its poor history.
I( Think beyond the white-collar label ) can see the count of patients moving up and expecting high standards of professional service.
Q. What have been your top priorities for the district?
I have figured out that there are a couple of areas we can’t get away without making relentless efforts. One is education and the next comes infrastructure development.
For education, we have set up a mission. Each block of the district must have fully operated minimum schools with full-time teachers and developed infra for classrooms to carry it smoothly.
Again enrolment in classes must increase in number year on year by doing so prior to the poor students we have stressed for mid meals is a must. For employment growth, we need to bring infra projects.
We are entitled to give all administrative support for installing various projects coming to its horizon.
Also, we are pushing business houses to open the door for local communities. It’s a win-win situation for the development of the district.
Q. Can you shed light on the initiatives for the fisherman community since you are helming a coastal district?
We have set off on a development exercise to improve the quality of life of the fisherman community and ensure safe fishing.
The administration is using guidelines promulgated by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). The government is always keen to extend a helping hand to the community.
8. Most people say you are a simple and accessible officer when it comes to sorting out their issues. How do you feel about this feedback?
It’s a fundamental fact that being a responsive officer brings possibilities among the citizens, and I am assigned to comply with this mandate.
I always try to understand from their perspectives and not as an officer. This helps me to reach out to them instantly.