Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Know Your Babu: New mines secretary Anup K Pujari drives a scooter on weekends

SOUNDS odd, but you can safely address India’s new mines secretary and 1980 batch Karnataka cadre IAS, as Professor Pujari. Yes, teaching economics is close to Dr Anup K Pujari’s heart, but what actually earns him the prefix is the fact that he took a number of short sabbaticals from IAS to…
teach economics in the University of Harvard. Born in 1956, Pujari is a post-graduate from the University of Boston, and is a doctorate in economics. And thanks to his sound knowledge of economics, he has for the last three and half years been adroitly handling the job of the Director General of Foreign Trade, for which generalist IAS officers usually bank on trade service officers blindly. He is also an LLB and holds another post-graduate degree on defence studies. 
This is just one side of “Professor” Pujari’s unique persona. If you can recognise him, you may sometime spot him driving a scooter on Delhi streets, particularly on weekends. His wife and 1980 batch IDES officer Sundari Subramaniam Pujari often accompanies him as pillion rider. She has recently been appointed as the chief vigilance officer in Air India.
Many say “Professor” Pujari’s austere life style is somewhat extreme. In summer, he does not use air conditioner in officer and switches it on only when he realizes his guests are finding it uncomfortable. He asks his office driver to take the shortage possible route from his residence to office and insists that the driver switches off the engine at the red lights. If he needs to come to office on a holiday, he makes it a point to drive his scooter instead.
Pujari’s peers accept he is a highly efficient officer too. Earlier, he had served in Election Commission and was also Managing Director of Mysore Sugar Co Ltd and Karnataka Food and Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd. He was a joint secretary in the department of economic affairs under the ministry of finance between 2006 and 2010.
So, when his name did not appear in the first list of 1980 batch secretary-empanelled IAS officers (he was later accorded secretary rank), one reader wrote a long letter to BoI, accusing the entire system itself. “Whether it is efficiency, honesty or integrity, there cannot be any finger raised against him. In fact, he must be among the very few officers, who are very accessible (returns all calls, responds to all emails, meets every one in office), very positive attitude (seeks to solve problems posed to him, rather than find ways to say "no") and calls a spade a spade (does not mince words in stating his position and offering his views). Obviously some bosses may not find this palatable,” the visitor wrote.
The question is: Will young IAS officers follow these golden rules that a few Pujaris have mined so far?


  1. reads like a marketing article

  2. Actually, there are such skepticism about politicians and bureaucrats that if an honest person exists, many people doubt. I have known Pujari sir. The writer has written the truth.

  3. Have you known his driver also whose reference is given in this article?

  4. I have known Pujari sir. The writer has written only very few facts about him.
    The respect he have for bright junior officers is great.
    No ego,he is a victim of our corrupt system.

  5. When 99% of the babus are corrupt , it is certainly hard for the people to believe such rare varities! But the truth is these people do exist .One can see the image when the reflexion is clear.

  6. Replies
    1. Let's not defame honest officers. Only few officers have remained whose integrity is above board. Mr Anup Pujari is one of them

  7. I know both Mr & Mrs Pujari. Both are an assest and example for others. May god bless them. They are very honest. God bless them and protect them from our system. Ashutosh

  8. These beruacrats know how to extract benefit from both the world.... Show some gimics....hoodwink gulliables... have plumg posting...

  9. An arrogant an unprofessional officer.

  10. Mr Pujari is one of the very few upright and incorruptable officers I have met in my last 5 years in India, where I have been generally rattled by the inefficiency and excuses of not doing work.