list of retiring employees prepared. The list includes everyone, from official to peon, belonging not just to the ministry but to those PSUs that come under the administrative control of his ministry. As BoI has learnt, Pujari will invite the retiring staff to his cabin if they are located in Delhi and ask them whether there is any problem in getting the post-retirement benefits such as leave encashment, provident funds etc., apart from giving them the best of luck for their new innings. He would ask them their future plan, and ask about their children and their jobs. He would ask whether the retired babu would actually go back to his village, say in Bihar, Odisha or Tamil Nadu after serving the Central government for 35 to 40 years. Or, is the person planning to settle in Delhi instead?
If the retired person is located outside Delhi, Pujari will call up that person, give his best wishes and ask his basic questions. For peons, drivers, and other low-rung sarkari employees, getting a phone call from the union secretary, that too on the day of retirement, is no less than any monetary bonus. And if the retiring person faces any problem in getting the post-retirement benefits, Pujari does intervene with the concerned division and get that done, according to those who have witnessed this phenomenon.
Those who know Pujari point out yet another peculiarity of this senior bureaucrat --- his austere life style which is somewhat extreme (or bizarre?). “In summer, he does not use air conditioner in office 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,” BoI wrote in an earlier article when Pujari was still in the ministry of commerce and industry serving as Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT).
Earlier, he had worked in Election Commission, and also served as a joint secretary in the department of economic affairs under the ministry of finance.
A post-graduate from the University of Boston, Pujari is a doctorate in economics. He used to teach in Harvard University taking sabbaticals from the government. Pujari is also an LLB, and holds another post-graduate degree on defence studies.