Monday, August 24, 2009
Top five babuz: India’s 5 most powerful bureaucrats are Pulok Chaterji, TKA Nair, KM Chandrasekhar, Ashok Chawla & M Ramachandran
THE list of babuz, 09, is finally out. These 5 master bureaucrats have the power and ability to fix problems, manage crises, push agenda and get things done. They have clouts not just because of their posts and positions, but for their sharp managerial skills, leadership qualities and last but not the least their sound relationship with India’s political heavyweights. Methodology of Selection After taking feedback of over 30 senior bureaucrats and politicians who have mustered in understanding ups and downs of actors in Delhi’s power corridor, babu blogger has finally zeroed in five top babuz, or five most powerful bureaucrats in the country. Consensus and Controversy Whereas there was a consensus on Pulok Chaterji being the most powerful bureaucrat despite being stationed in US now, there was a tie between cabinet secretary K M Chandrasekhar and finance secretary Ashok Chawla for the third position. Also, there were anonymous comments in the blog saying that none of the Indian babuz has the intellectual caliber of Henry Kissinger after babu blogger had claimed that these powerful bureaucrats were Dr Manmohan Singh’s Kissinger-type master bureaucrats. babuz No 1: Pulok Chaterji A 1974 batch IAS from Uttar Pradesh cadre, he is now posted in Washington DC as an executive director of the World Bank. A secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) till recently, Mr Chaterje’s personal equation with Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s family can’t be ignored by anyone in the government including those who are senior to him. The buzz is that the man who had a say in virtually every appointment of the government during Dr Manmohan Singh’s first innings, may soon come back to power pockets of Raisina Hill. Also read, “babuz no 1: Pulok Chaterji is India’s most powerful bureaucrat; find out who are no 2, 3, 4 & 5” posted on August 17, 2009. babuz No 2: TKA Nair Retired over a decade back, this 1963 batch Punjab cadre officer and principal secretary to Prime Minister, was also the secretary to former prime ministers I K Gujral and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. As babu blogger had written earlier, “And his immense clout explains why Reliance Industries’ (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani or Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal knows who to meet in the Raisina Hills to explain their side of the story on recent gas row and misery of aviation sector respectively,”. babuz No 3: K M Chandrasekhar A 1970 batch IAS of Kerala cadre, K M Chandrasekhar is well regarded among top echelon of civil servants in India. He was the architect of government’s 100 days agenda which various ministries were forced to initiate even before the new government was formed. babuz No 4: Ashok Chawla A 1973 batch IAS from Gujarat cadre, finance secretary Ashok Chawla would have been equally powerful today, had the BJP come to power after the last general election. A former civil aviation secretary, Mr Chawla served as secretary of department of economic affairs (DEA) only to be elevated as finance secretary eight months later. He is a contender to be the next cabinet secretary. babuz No 5: M Ramachandran Urban development secretary M Ramachandran, a 1972 batch Uttaranchal cadre IAS, is gathering clout in power corridors as he is the top contender to be the cabinet secretary next year. Known for following rule books to the core, Mr Ramachandran is pioneered reforms in India’s urban sector. Also read, “Chandrasekhar gets extension; Ramachandran & Chawla to be key contenders for cabinet secretary’s post next year” posted on June 2, 2009.