Monday, October 27, 2014

Home Secretary Anil Goswami: How “Kaki” is India’s 3rd Most Powerful Bureaucrat

Inspecting a toilet as part of Clean India campaign
DAYS before Narendra Modi took charge as the Prime Minister of India, home secretary and 1978 batch IAS officer Anil Goswami had a chance to brief him about internal security. As the meeting proceeded, it appeared, Modi had already known quite a lot about this Jammu and Kashmir cadre officer who was divisional commissioner of Jammu, chief executive officer of Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (first CEO after it was taken over by the government in 1986) and principal secretary to the then chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad. And that meeting itself cleared doubts that…

new PM might change the home secretary, a bureaucrat in a key position, appointed by the earlier UPA government. In the next few days and months, Goswami’s clout has increased in the corridors. He took up the most difficult task of persuading a number of UPA-appointed Governors, some of them being seniors to him in bureaucracy, to resign so as to pave the way for the BJP’s nominees to be placed at Raj Bhawans. Also, according to officers privy to corridor’s equations, PM took briefing from Goswami directly on many an occasion.
In BoI Power List 2014, Anil Goswami is ranked third. The second and the most powerful bureaucrats,acording to BoI list, will be announced in this site in coming days. The list of five most powerful bureaucrats is prepared on the basis of off-record interactions with at least 50 bureaucrats, apart from considering inputs from politicians, academics and journalists who understand corridor’s changing power equations. BoI has been publishing this list every year since 2009.
Home secretary Goswami is nicknamed as Kaki, meaning a female child in Dogri language. After two sons, Goswami’s parents, Ved Prakash Goswami and Pushpa Goswami wanted a girl. When a boy was born instead, everyone at home affectionately called the child “Kaki”. In his childhood, Goswami, belonging to a displaced family from Pakistan, had to face a lot of turbulence in his studies. He initially studied in a school in Bihar, but appeared his matriculation examination in 1971 from Kendriya Vidhyalaya in Jammu. Goswami is an MA in history, and also had a masters’ degree from UK’s University of Reading.
He was first selected as an IPS in 1977, but improved his position to get IAS the very next year. As an IAS officer, he began his career in Jammu and Kashmir’s tourism department. Between 1984 and 1986, he was deputy commissioner in Udhampur district. On two occasions, he was the CEO of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, and is credited with putting in place various systems that are highly pilgrims-friendly. In many ways, pilgrimage in Vaishno Devi is far superior than that of Varanasi, now a place under PM’s Lok Sabha constituency.
Goswami joined union home ministry in 2010, first as additional secretary. In July 2012, he became a secretary in the department of social justice and empowerment. Goswami’s two-year-term as home secretary will end in June 2015.
His wife Neru Goswami is an eminent jurist, and the couple has two sons, Bhanu Uday and Mayank Goswami. Bhanu Uday, a TV actor, played in the lead role in Bollywood film, Machli Jal Ki Rani Hai. Goswami’s daughter-in-law – Shalini Khanna, is also a TV actress.
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1 comment:

  1. Now Kaki is in the soup.He had become too big for his boots. Government did right thing in sacking him. It will send the right message to all bureaucrats who misuse their positions.