Tuesday, June 12, 2012

5 things you may like to know about new NHAI chairman RP Singh

RP Singh
AFTER months of uncertainly, former industry secretary RP Singh was finally appointed as chairman of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the agency that is responsible for developing and managing over 70,000 km of national highways in India. It’s a co-incidence that appointment of Singh, an Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS of 1976 batch, was announced on a day when his senior from the same Andhra Pradesh cadre VS Sampath took over as Chief Election Commissioner of India.
Here are five things you may like to know about new NHAI chairman…
1. RP Singh was one of government’s key backroom boys pushing FDI in multi-brand retail. After the draft policy was put in public domain, he played an important role in pushing the agenda in other departments too. After all, a number of departments were to be on board to make it a government policy. The policy was however kept on halt after UPA ally Trinamool Congress vetoed it.
2. Singh is a believer in transparency. Many industrialists, experts could not even imagine that their comments on policies would be placed in public domain. He asked his junior officials to put all comments on the politically sensitive discussion paper of multi-brand retail in the official DIPP website.
3. He is a typical non-babu in the sense that he is not suave or sophisticated. Nor is he formal all the time. If you listen to him chatting with his juniors, you will wonder whether he is a top-ranked IAS officer! Thank God, Abhay Deol playing an IAS officer in Dibakar Banerjee’s film Shanghai did not follow Singh!
4. He does not care about politicians, and many a time he surprises netas. As DIPP secretary, he used to float one new policy after another prompting bigwigs like Montek Singh Ahluwalia to call him and ask: “What this new policy is all about?” Many others too were caught unaware by Singh's googlies.
5. RP Singh’s “don’t care politicians” attitude made him a hero among some of his of his juniors. He often said: “I don’t care about any post-retirement employment”. It’s however a different matter that he became a contender for the TRAI chairman’s post as well.
For the government, giving Singh a post-retirement position is a wise move as it would potentially stop him from becoming yet another retired babu activist! 

Officer Awarded
Sonmoni Borah, commissioner, Chhattisgarh Housing Board and 1999 batch IAS, was recently given HUDCO best practices award. The award which is Rs 1 lakh in cheque, a memento and a citation was given in the category of social housing, urban poverty alleviation and infrastructure best practices.
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Action and Appointments
a) Utkaarsh Tiwari, a 1995 batch IRS (C and CE) officer has been appointed as director in department of personnel and training with effect from June 8, 2012 for a period of five years.
b) The government has accorded the approval for inter-cadre deputation of Asangba Chuba Ao, a 2003 batch Bihar cadre IAS from Bihar cadre to Nagaland cadre for a period of three years.


  1. Excellent information. As an executive of a private company, this is not just an enjoyable reading but very very informative

  2. Five things mentioned about Sh. R P Singh are absolutely correct. I interacted with him when he was CMD of Punjab & Sind Bank and our firm was one of the Central Auditors

  3. He isa genius in every sense. He will put things straight and very clear. I wish more IAS officers can follow his lead and this will help change our system.