Friday, August 17, 2012

5 things about IAS Sunil Arora; his successes & controversies

Sunil Arora
Sunil Arora, a 1980 batch Rajasthan cadre IAS who is credited with turnaround of Indian Airlines, is back at the Centre. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has approved Arora’s name as Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under the ministry of textiles. Those who know this officer well say he is more a firebrand CEO than a typical bureaucrat. But Arora has come into some controversies as well. He was heard in Niira Radia tapes when he and the corporate lobbyist talked about the equation of a minister and a PMO official. Here are more:
1. A post graduate in English, Arora had worked in Planning Commission, finance ministry and civil aviation ministry. In civil aviation ministry, he was a joint secretary during the NDA regime before he was made CMD of Indian Airlines.
2. In the saga of the massive decade-long downturn of India’s national carrier, Arora gave a glimmer of hope. Indian Airlines which NDA government even wanted to privatize because of perennial loss, became a profitable venture when Arora was its chairman. Sample this: the carrier which incurred a loss of Rs 247 crore in 2001-02, actually notched up a profit of Rs 44 crore in 2003-04.
3. Arora became a whistle-blower when he reportedly wrote to then cabinet secretary BK Chaturvedi (letter dated May 28, 2005) about how the AI board was forced by civil aviation ministry to go into loss-making deals.
4. Arora was heard in corporate lobbyist Niira Radia tapes which got leaked and came into the public domain. In one of such conversations, he was heard saying: “Because I think internally...T.K. Nair is too much mixed up with him (minister)...Behind the scenes hotaa hai yaar, aisii baat nahii hai (Things happen behind the scenes)". This conversation in which both talked about induction of ministers in UPA-II was leaked by Outlook magazine. The conversations also made it clear that the officer was quite friendly with the lobbyist.
5. In Rajasthan, he was secretary to chief minister between 2005 and 2008, and then became the chairman of the state’s industrial and investment arm, RIICO.

Action and Appointments
a) The Central government has approved the extension of inter-cadre deputation of HS Meena, a 1997 batch Tamil Nadu cadre IAS from Tamil Nadu cadre to Rajasthan cadre for a period of one year.
b) Ms Alka Selot Asthana, a 1994 batch Indian Telecom Service officer, has been appointed as director in the ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation.


  1. Enjoyed reading it. Interesting. What has happened to Niira Radia?

  2. Such odd telephonic conversations are hardly any evidence against anyone. Those create controversies, but people move on.

  3. I dont even remember how i reached your site but it doesnt matter, cause i’m so happy i found it, it really made me think, keep up the good work.

  4. Its an interesting topic. Thoroughly enjoyed it while reading. great work.

  5. The government took a U-turn. The ACC headed by Prime Minister on Thursday cancelled Sunil Arora's appointment as Development Commissioner (Handlooms) under the ministry of textiles. But what's the reason behind? According to some reports, Rajasthan government refused to relieve him. Is that right?

  6. he is close to Vasundhara Raje