Joined Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1988. After two years of training, I was allocated to Gujarat Cadre.
A common thread that binds my actions in regulatory and developmental administration at grass root as well as apex-policy level is that I have tried to improve existing systems, innovate and set-up new systems for Good Governance to help the poor, the needy, the weak and the distressed.
I am convinced that governance measures at all levels should be directed majorly for the common man. That’s the real test of administration. As Bashir Badra so eloquently puts: “किताबें, रिसाले न अख़़बार पढना, मगर दिल को हर रात इक बार पढ़ना”
I have realized that listening to everyone not only satisfies stakeholders but adds to the domain knowledge and moral strength of the listener. Therefore, In 32 years of service, in all my assignments as an IAS officer, I tried relentlessly to be very accessible to public. This is core to my personality, and I have also realized its benefits.
Some Highlights of Local & District Level Work:
Progress through Process Re-engineering:
I was posted as SDM at Palitana in Bhavnagar District. This was the native place of the then Revenue Minister. The District was reeling under the effects of a severe drought. This Revenue Minister was also the Minister for SDM level officers and for drought relief. I was faced with intense interactions with a political stalwart, right in the beginning of my career.
In next posting, I really remember my works as District (Chief) Development Officer (DDO) and CEO of District Panchayat of Vadodara District.
Since there is complete decentralization to Panchayati raj institutions in Gujarat, the DDO has numerous independent responsibilities, huge infrastructure and staff including in health, education, roads and buildings, agriculture, irrigation and other developmental as well as social sectors.
We launched the Total Literacy Campaign and specially worked for increasing literacy among rural/tribal population. It was a Nationally acclaimed campaign at that time.
I was awarded by the State Government as the BEST DDO in 1993-94.
Thereafter, I was DM in three Districts of Gujarat (Mehsana, Kheda & Anand).
Conducted several Parliamentary, Assembly & Local Body Elections.
At State (Secretariat) level, there were two postings:
Deputy Secretary Finance Department and In-charge of the Bureau of Public Enterprises looking after the State PSUs and the PPP projects. We implemented the Public sector reform programme sponsored by the Asian Development Bank. During this period of 1998-99, I was also made MD of Gujarat State Financial Services Company, a known NBFC of Gujarat Government.
8th October 2001 onwards:
On this day, Honorable Shree Narendra Modi, took over as Chief Minister of Gujarat. On the same day, I was appointed as Secretary to the CM of Gujarat.
Thus, this was the day when Shree Narendra Modi took over charge of not only my career as an IAS officer but also a large part of my life.
Since then, whatever I did or achieved, it has been guided and blessed by him. He gives lot of freedom to innovate and experiment and encourages bold initiatives.
In CM Office of Gujarat, I was the junior most among three IAS secretaries.
I looked after the departments of: Industry, Mining, Revenue, Forests, Education, Tourism, Road & Building, and Infrastructure etc.
I also looked after the internal administration of CM office and CM’s Engagements.
In that capacity, we worked for and got ISO certification for the CM office; a rarity at that time for a political office.
During the period of 2001 & 2014 in CM office of Gujarat, I also held key industrial and infrastructure development assignments which include my roles as MD of iNDEXTb and CEO of GIDB.
I had the opportunity to contribute as key negotiator in setting up of MEGA Industrial Projects in Gujarat like: Tata Nano Project, Suzuki Project, Ford Motors etc.
I have always worked with the spirit of the motto of Allahabad University “Quot Rami Tot Arbores” which means thatEach Branch should Become a Tree.