Top 10 BUREAUCRATS of 2014
There is no Pulok Chatterji or Vinod Rai now in the complete corridor. Unlike in the past, no one can now be appointed without the PM’s direct consent. Here is the list of top bureaucrats of our country this year.
1. Nripendra Misra
Mr. Nripendra Misra is a 1967 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre, who holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Masters Degree from the Allahabad University. Born in 1945, he was also the Chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) between March 2006 and March 2009. It was during his era, however, that the TRAI recommended that the 2G spectrum not be put up for auction, leading up to the multi-crore scam of 2007.
Mr. Misra is known to be a resolute bureaucrat – an administrator with a reputation for fearlessness and firm decisions. He is known to score high on parameters of integrity and discipline. So, with Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi coming to power, Mr. Misra was appointed as the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister on May, 28 2014, as Modi is exceptionally choosy about the bureaucrats who work with him. The appointment has been highly contested and staunchly opposed by a number of political parties.
The Modi government has remained firm on appointing Mishra, a 1967-batch IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh and a former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), so much so, that it even took the ordinance route to effect a change in the TRAI law. And ofcourse the obvious reasons are Misra’s image as a bureaucrat, his vast experience, specially in the commerce ministry gives him an added advantage to take up national interests in international forums like the WTO. His rapport with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and former Union telecom minister Arun Shourie also help his candidature. However, the most significant reason for the Modi government to pursue Misra’s case is perhaps his UP connection. Misra was once the principal secretary to former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh and was known to be close to him. He had also grown a working relation with senior BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh and Kalraj Mishra.
2. PK Mishra
For Modi, PK Mishra has been an old aide, as the latter worked as principal secretary to Modi till 2004, when he was the CM of Gujarat. Those were early days of Modi as chief minister and one must factor in 2002 riots which jolted the entire state administration. In many ways, PK was a guide to Modi those days. Now, the former Agriculture Secretary P.K. Mishra has been appointed Additional Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He was Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture between December 1, 2006 and August 31, 2008. He was appointed Chairman of the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission after his retirement in 2008 for a five-year term.
3. Sujatha Singh
Mrs. Sujatha Singh joined the Indian Foreign Service in July 1976. She assumed charge as Foreign Secretary on August 1, 2013. Prior to taking over as Foreign Secretary, she served as Ambassador of India to Germany (2012-2013) and High Commissioner to Australia (2007-2012).
Born in July 1954, Mrs. Singh started her overseas assignments as Second Secretary in the Embassy of India, Bonn (1978-82). Subsequently she was First Secretary, High Commission of India, Accra (1985-89), Counsellor, Embassy of India, Paris (1989- 92), Deputy Chief of Mission and Deputy Permanent Representative to ESCAP at Embassy of India, Bangkok (1997-2000) and Consul General, Milan (2000-04). She was Under Secretary looking after Nepal (1982-85), Director, Economic Co-ordination Unit (1992-95), attended the National Defence College at New Delhi (1995) and Joint Secretary at the Foreign Service Institute, New Delhi (1996-97). For 1976 batch IFS officer Sujatha Singh, it was not a cakewalk for getting appointed as India’s foreign secretary. A year down the line, with another government at the helm, Mrs Singh has turned a key person behind prime minister Narendra Modi’s highly successful diplomatic venture so far.
4. Anil Goswami
Born in January 1955, Anil Goswami is an Indian Administrative Service officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre and the incumbent Union Home Secretary of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs. He is the first civil servant from the state to hold this position.
Days before Narendra Modi took charge as the Prime Minister of India, home secretary and 1978 batch IAS officer Anil Goswami had a chance to brief him about internal security. As the meeting proceeded, it appeared, Modi had already known quite a lot about Mr. Goswami, who was divisional commissioner of Jammu, chief executive officer of Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (first CEO after it was taken over by the government in 1986) and principal secretary to the then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Goswami assumed the office of Secretary of Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment on 2 July 2012. He remained in this capacity until 27 April 2013, when he was appointed the officer on special duty (OSD) in the Ministry of Home Affairs. He was named Union Home Secretary by the appointing committee of the cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.
5. Ajit Kumar Doval
Ajit Doval, 69, is an Indian intelligence officer, serving as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Security Adviser since 30 May 2014. He was formerly the Director of the Intelligence Bureau in 2004-05, after spending a decade as the head of its operations wing. He is the first police officer in India to be awarded the Kirti Chakra.
Ajit Kumar Doval, as a field agent, had successfully broken the back of the North-East insurgency in 1986 in an undercover operation that gave him lasting fame: the defection of 6 out of 7 commanders of Laldenga’s outfit to the Indian cause, forcing the secessionist leader to sign the peace accord. In his heydays as an operative, Doval’s addiction to danger, instead of safely spending life behind a babu’s desk in the North Block, drafting and signing INT reports, marked him for greatness. Veteran intelligence analysts feel the Doval Effect will also impact the PMO’s aggressive foreign policy towards Pakistan and China.
6. Rajiv Mehrishi
Rajiv Mehrishi is an IAS officer of 1978 batch belonging to Rajasthan cadre. He has been appointed Finance Secretary, Ministry of Finance of Government of India, replacing Arvind Mayaram, his batchmate.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi puts state elections behind him and focuses on economic reforms, Mehrishi is expected to bring fresh ideas to the Union finance ministry. Mehrishi has been instrumental in the Vasundhara Raje ministry in that state, helping push through key labour reforms in an attempt to attract industry, as well as an ambitious identity scheme for better delivery of public services and subsidies. Such measures by Raje’s government has been widely acclaimed and acquired the moniker of ‘Rajasthan Model’.
Before being appointed Rajasthan chief secretary on December 2013, he was secretary ministry of overseas affairs and special
secretary in the union agricultural ministry. Mehrishi has served on many positions in the state government. He was joint secretary in the cabinet secretariat.He is said to be the brains behind key labour reforms in Rajasthan. He has been a vocal critic of various schemes launched during the previous Congress-led UPA government.
7. Ajit Seth
Born in Uttar Pradesh, Ajit Seth has done Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Chemistry from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi and also M. Phil. in Life Sciences from the JNU. He later did a Master’s Degree in Development Finance from the University of Birmingham.
In the earlier 1980s, Mr. Seth served in the Ministry of Commerce and he served for over 3 years as First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations at Geneva, Switzerland.While in the state in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Seth served as Principal Secretary Rural development, Principal Secretary (Vigilance) and Secretary (Home and Confidential) besides stints in Industries and Cooperatives Departments. Mr. Seth is the seniormost serving bureaucrat in the country and was appointed the Cabinet Secretary by the UPA government in June 2011 for a two-year tenure. His term was extended for one year by the then Manmohan Singh government and the BJP-led Modi government which came to power in May this year also extended his tenure by six months.
As the top bureaucrat in the country, Mr. Seth’s handling of the administrative matters and reforms as set out by the BJP government is believed to have impressed Mr. Modi who has preferred to continue with him by giving extension in service.
8. Raghuram Rajan
Raghuram Govind Rajan is the current and the 23rd Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, having taken charge of India’s central banking institution on 4 September 2013. Rajan was chief economic adviser to India’s Ministry of Finance during the previous year and chief economist at the International Monetary Fund from 2003 to 2007.
Born in February, 1963, Mr. Rajan graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1985, after which he acquired a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in 1987. He won Director’s Gold Medal in IIT Delhi and was a Gold medalist at IIM Ahmedabad. He received a Ph.D. in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1991 for his thesis titled “Essays on Banking”.
In November 2008, Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh appointed Rajan as an honorary economic adviser. Later he was appointed as Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India on 10 August 2012. He prepared the Economic Survey for India for the year 2012-13, on 27 February. He was appointed RBI Governor for a term of 3 years succeeding D Subbarao whose term ended on 4 September 2013.He was awarded the fifth Deutsche Bank Prize for Financial Economics 2013 on 26 September 2013 for his “ground-breaking research work which influenced financial and macro-economic policies around the world”. He was conferred the Best Central Bank Governor award for 2014 by Euromoney Magazine.
Rajan, a well-known economist and an academician before he became RBI chief in September 2013, also had to fight a never ending battle to take away some powers from the central bank and the attempts appeared to be much stronger this year.
9. Amitabh Kant
An IAS officer of 1980 Batch, Kerala Cadre, Amitabh Kant has been presently posted as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), Government of India. He has extensive experience in infrastructure creation, International Marketing, Travel & Tourism and Hospitality industry. He has conceptualized and executed the positioning and branding of Kerala as “God’s Own Country” and later the “Incredible !ndia” campaign. Both these campaigns has won several International awards and embraced a host of activities – Infrastructure development, product enhancement, changes in organizational culture and promotional partnerships based on intensive market research.
Amitabh has structured large infrastructure projects for diversification of India’s tourism product and sourced international funding through the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and UNDP.
During his tenure as Chairman and Managing Director, India Tourism Development Corporation, (ITDC) he radically restructured the organization and turned it around into a highly profitable commercial enterprise. He also has wide ranging experience in innovative technical and financial structuring of Private – Public – Partnership in infrastructure projects and implemented the Calicut Airport project based on User’s fee, the BSES Kerala Power project and the Mattanchary Bridge project.
In his capacity as Managing Director, Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, Commissioner Rural Development and District Collector Calicut, he has led large multi-disciplinary teams cutting across government, private sector, NGOs and civil society to ensure successful project execution and delivery.
Pushing the ‘Make in India’ strategy strongly, Amitabh Kant, attacked the governor Rajan’s remarks on an export-led strategy, “…your share (of global trade) is so low, what we are talking ab1.7% and we are saying do not export. This is the time you must penetrate global markets with much greater vigour and energy,” he said at an event.
“No manufacturer across the world does only for the domestic market. You do it initially but then you expand, you grow and penetrate global markets,” he said.
10. Shashi Kant Sharma
Shashi Kant Sharma, a 1976 batch of Indian Administrative Service of Bihar Cadre, has wide experience in the fields of Public Administration, Financial Services and Infrastructure Development. He has served as Defence Secretary from July 2011 before joining this constitutional post. Prior to this, he has served as Secretary Department of Financial Services in the Ministry of Finance and as Secretary, Information Technology in the Ministry of Communication and I.T. He did his M.Sc. in Administrative Science and Development Problems, University of York, U.K. and M.A. in Political Science from Agra University.
Mr. Sharma has served as Director on the Boards of Directors of State Bank of India and Life Insurance Corporation of India. He has also worked as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Defence, Principal Commissioner, Delhi Development authority and also as Director in Ministry of Human Resources Development. At the State level, Mr. Sharma served as District Magistrate/Collector/Deputy Commissioner in the districts of Patna, Singhbhum, Palamau and Bhagalpur. He has also worked as Labour Commissioner, Managing Director of Bokaro Industrial Area Development Authority and as Secretary in the Departments of Road Construction, Urban Development,Industrial Development and Excise in the Government of Bihar.
Mr. Sharma’s responsibilities in the international arena include chairmanship of the U.N. Panel of External Auditors and member of the Governing Board of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). He also has the responsibility, as chair, of steering the INTOSAI Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Services Committee and its Working Group on IT Audit. He is also a member of the Professional Standards Committee and Sub-Committee on Financial Audit, Compliance Audit and Performance Audit of INTOSAI and of various working groups of INTOSAI. Shri Sharma is also the Chairman of the Governing Board of the Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI).