ODOP—Fostering Local Arts, Crafts, and Traditional Skills: Navneet Sehgal

Navneet Sehgal IAS

One District One Product Initiative is an endeavour to promote and pave the path for local employment. The government’s mission is to encourage people to focus on local arts, crafts and traditional skills, which can improve income at the local level and increase the contribution of handicrafts in the economic growth of the State. Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, MSME and Export Promotion, Government of Uttar Pradesh, in conversation with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN) explains how the initiative can prove to be a game changer.

ODOP–An Overview

Launched in January 2018, “One District One Product (ODOP)” is flagship programme of Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP). The objective of the programme is to preserve, develop and promote local arts, crafts and traditional skill of communities spread across each district of Uttar Pradesh. Additionally, the programme aims to add to the local income and employment thus checking out migration of local artisans to other locations.

To this end, primarily one product is selected across each district of Uttar Pradesh. The programme aims to address gaps/ challenges in the development path of ODOP products.

It covers all aspects of a product ecosystem, including value chain and infrastructure gaps.

Considering the importance of the programme, GoUP created a specialised Cell i.e. ODOP Cell under the Directorate of Industries, Department of MSME & Export Promotion, to spearhead and implement the ODOP programme. International consulting firm, Ernst & Young LLP (E&Y), was roped in as PMC to assist the ODOP Cell in programme implementation.ODOP

GoUP adopted a systematic approach to identify and address gaps/ challenges faced by ODOP artisans/ units. Renowned global and national consulting/ advisory firms (including ADB, PWC, IL&FS and Darashaw) were hired through a transparent and competitive bidding process to prepare Diagnostic Study Reports (DSR) for each district of the State. DSRs were prepared in consultations with all the stakeholders pertaining to ODOP products in the districts. Additionally, DSRs were approved and accepted by the State Government post two tier approval – first, at the district level, by a committee headed by District Magistrate, and second, at the State level, by the ODOP Cell.

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Addressing gaps through multi-pronged strategies

Based on findings of the DSR and feedback from the District Industry and Enterprise Promotion Centers (DIEPCs), the ODOP Cell is striving to address gaps/ challenges faced by the ODOP artisans/ units through multipronged strategy – first, the ODOP Cell created four basic schemes to address common challenges faced by the ODOP artisans. These schemes included Margin Money Subsidy Scheme for promoting self-employment among ODOP artisans/ workers by addressing access to finance issue, Market Development Assistance Scheme for addressing marketing and branding issues, Skill Development & Toolkit Distribution Scheme for addressing skill gaps and distributing advance toolkits, Common Facility Centre (CFC) Scheme for addressing issues like design labs, testing labs, raw material banks, advance/ upgraded production setup etc.; second, the ODOP Cell is collaborating with companies/institutions of repute like Amazon, Flipkart, EBay, Quality of Council of India (QCI), Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP), NIFT, AKTU, Bank of Baroda, NSE, BSE etc. to address these gaps; third, ODOP Cell is dovetailing with other GoUP and GoI schemes to provide maximum benefits to ODOP artisans/ units.

District Action Plans (DAPs)

Furthermore, based on the findings of the DSRs, District Action Plans (DAPs) are being prepared by the Project Monitoring Unit at ODOP Cell, for all the 75 districts. The aim of DAPs is to concretise the actionables that are required to be undertaken to address gaps/ challenges identified in the DSRs. Additionally, DAPs aim to double production and exports of ODOP products in the next five years. This is in line with the GoUP’s target of becoming US$ 1 trillion economy in the next five years.

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Key pillars/ components of ODOP programme and the progress made till date

  • Margin Money Scheme: Under this Scheme ODOP artisans/ units are provided margin money subsidy up to Rs 20 lakhs per unit/ artisan. Since the inception of the scheme, nearly 20,000 people have been provided employment.
  • Skill Development & Toolkit Distribution Scheme: This Scheme aims at fulfilling current and future requirements of skilled workforce in the entire value chain of ODOP products through free bridge courses of 10 days. Additionally, artisans participating in the training programme are provided modern toolkits, free-of-cost. Till now, more than 41,000 ODOP artisans are trained and provided toolkits through this scheme.
  • Common Facility Centre (CFC) Scheme: This Scheme aims at developing CFCs at each district of Uttar Pradesh. CFCs aim to address common issues of the ODOP artisans/ units including design issues, raw material issues, packaging issues, among others. Under the scheme, the State Government provides financial assistance of 90% (maximum Rs 13.5 Crs) of the Project cost, as grant. Till now, 35 CFCs are provided inprincipal approval by GoUP. Thirteen proposals are at implementation stage (foundation stone laid by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath Ji) and another ten proposals are at DPR appraisal stage.
  • Market Development Assistance Scheme: This Scheme aims at promoting participation of ODOP artisans/ units in local, national and international melas/ exhibitions by offering lodging and travel & stall fee reimbursement. Additionally, the scheme provides financial assistance to ODOP artisans/ units for onboarding to E-commerce platforms. The department has shortlisted over 450 national and international exhibitions/ meals wherein ODOP artisans/ units can participate and claim assistance, under the scheme. Further, over 20,000 ODOP products are being sold across various e-commerce platforms.
  • Collaborations with Expert Organizations/ Institutions: ODOP Cell is tying up with various expert organizations/ institutions to fill credit, marketing, technology, design, packaging and other gaps in ODOP product ecosystem. Key tie-ups include:
  • Amazon.in and Amazon Global: Aimed at taking ODOP products to national and international markets.
  • Flipkart.com: For taking ODOP products to national market.
  • EBay: Aimed at taking ODOP products to international markets i.e. exports.
  • Quality of Council of India (QCI): For standardising ODOP products so that their quality can be ensured thereby providing wider market access.
  • Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP): Aimed at improving packaging of ODOP products.
  • NIFT: Aimed at improving designs of ODOP products.
  • AKTU: For technology upgradation of ODOP units.
  • Bank of Baroda: Aimed at offering ease of finance to ODOP artisans/ units. A psb59 like online platform is launched by Bank of Baroda specially for ODOP artisans/ units.
  • NSE & BSE: It is for taking ODOP units to capital markets so that they can raise equity capital. l SIDBI: Aimed at easing credit for ODOP artisans and units.
  • FICCI & EPCH: An ODOP virtual fair was organised in association with FICCI and EPCH. A total of 1000 sellers were registered on the virtual platform and buyers from 35 countries participated in the fair. It was inaugurated by Hon Chief Minister Shree Yogi Adityanath ji on 19.10.2020

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ODOP products by broad product categories

Under the ODOP program, 62 unique products from 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh have been broadly classified into 14 broad product categories. These products are unique and have primarily evolved over time in the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh. This is accepted across the world and hence 14 ODOP products have already got GI tag and many more are in the pipeline.