Friday, October 15, 2010

“Medalists” In Corridors Of Power: Bureaucrats who worked hard to make Commonwealth Games a success

AS THE Commonwealth Games in Delhi came to an end on Thursday with a truly exceptional closing ceremony, BoI ( presents some of the unsung heroes of Indian bureaucracy who deserve the same applause as our sportspersons do. Whether it’s home secretary GK Pillai or cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar, or even DD director general and 1982 batch IAS Aruna Sharma, some Indian bureaucrats have worked hard on and off-the-field to make this mega sporting event a success story. Here are the medalists from Great Indian bureaucracy!

Team Pillai
Home secretary GK Pillai, a 1972 batch Kerala cadre IAS, deserves more applause than anyone else. Even the establishment and people at large had apprehensions that there could be some kind of terror incidents before or during the Games. But thanks to professionalism brought in by home minister P Chidambaram and his deputy, home secretary GK Pillai into Indian security scenario, such apprehensions were put to rest. For spin doctors in North Block, the attempt was not just to create a security apparatus for the Games per se, but to strengthen policing in the entire country. And the strategy worked well. Those who know Pillai closely would call him a “no nonsense officer” who would not compromise on any issue that might create lapses in security matters. The Blackberry episode is a classic example.
Also, Delhi police commissioner YS Dadwal, a 1974 batch IPS and Special Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Ajay Chadha, a 1977 batch IPS deserve special mention. Mr Chadha who was a young officer posted in Arunchal Pradesh during 1982 Asian Games, has made the traffic arrangement so smooth before the Commonwealth Games that Delhiites themselves were pleasantly surprised.
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Chandrasekhar and his B-Team
When Dr Manmohan Singh took out his trump card – an army of 10 IAS officers under cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar to manage the biggest sporting extravaganza in the final lap of the run-up to the controversy-ridden Commonwealth Games, BoI ( hailed it the biggest victory of Indian bureaucracy. Except a few hiccups, B (bureaucrats)-team of the cabinet secretary performed upto the mark and took many an on-spot decision thanks to the PM’s decision to make the bureaucrats’ committee an “empowered” one. The B-team included additional secretary of the department of telecom (DoT) Subodh Kumar, 1978 batch Gujarat cadre IAS SR Rao, additional secretary in urban development ministry RC Misra and 1982 batch UP cadre IAS JS Deepak to name a few. (Read: Who are these bureaucrats on Commonwealth duties?) The last but not the least is the role played by principal secretary to PM, TKA Nair, a retired bureaucrat of 1963 batch.
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Unsung Heroes
Though some bureaucrats have hogged the limelight thanks to their designated roles in the run-up to the Games, there are many who worked behind-the-scene to make the Games a success. From day one, there were many regulatory bottlenecks and those could be removed only by bureaucrats of various departments. There are serving and retired bureaucrats (Jarnail Singh, a 1974 batch IAS officer of Manipur-Tripura cadre, for example, was the CEO of the Organizing Committee) who are very much a part of Kalmadi’s team. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) was Vijay Kumar Gautam, a 1987 batch Maharashtra cadre IAS officer who was an observer in the Melbourne’06 and Beijing’08 Games. Suresh Kalmadi in his speech during the closing ceremony of the Games did mention about DG of Doordarshan, Aruna Sharma, a 1982 batch IAS, who was instrumental in brining the DD platform into a high definition (HD) one.
Welcome to these “gold medalists” from corridors of power…


  1. Even Interpol has showered praise on security arrangements for the Commonwealth Games. Something to cheer about...

  2. Hats off to them! But what about Sindhushree Khullar, Secretary (Sports) and Rakesh Mehta (Cheif Secretary, Delhi)?

  3. Even Suresh Kalmadi in his speech mentioned about cabinet secretary Chandrasekhar, principal secretary to PM Nair, home secretary and DD's director general Aruna Sharma. Some babus did get recognition thanks to their hard-work for the Commonwealth Games.

  4. What's about hundreds of Naga policewomen who played a crucial role in traffic management in the city during the Games? Even home minister P Chidambaram has praised them a lot.