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2017 batch IPS officer-trainees with President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, in New Delhi on October 12.

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Monday, September 04, 2017

Babus Over Netas: Story of 4 former bureaucrats getting berths in Modi’s ministry

IAS-turned-politician KJ Alphons while taking oath
ON SUNDAY, four former bureaucrats — two IAS, one IFS and one IPS — were made ministers at the Centre giving a clear signal that Prime Minister Narendra Modi banks more on former bureaucrats than typical Netas when it comes to performances. Whereas former Kerala cadre IAS KJ Alphons was given independent charge of the ministry of tourism, former IFS Hardeep Singh Puri will now handle urban affairs, independently. Also, former home secretary Raj Kumar Singh will handle two ministries -- power and the ministry of new and renewable energy; and ex-Mumbai police commissioner Satyapal Singh has been made the MoS in two ministries -- HRD and water resources, river development and Ganga rejuvenation. Here are more about these four babu-turned Netas:

KJ Alphons
MoS (Independent Charge), Ministry of Tourism; and MoS, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
A 1979 batch former IAS officer, KJ Alphons joined the BJP in 2011. Featured by the Time Magazine in 1994 as one of the 100 young global leaders for new millennium, Alphons was known as the “demolition man” because he led the demolition of 14,310 unauthorized buildings in New Delhi when he had served as the DDA commissioner. In 2006, he left IAS and contested Kerala assembly poll from Kanjirappally and became an independent MLA with the supports of the Left. Born in 1954, Alphons did his post-graduation from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) before getting selected as an IAS. “Making a Difference” is his autobiography. As an IAS officer, his high point was his innings as the district collector of Kottayam, when the town became India’s first 100% literate town (1989). He is son of a World War-II veteran. 

Hardeep Singh Puri
MoS (Independent Charge), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs
A former Indian Foreign Service (IFS) officer of 1974 batch, Puri is now the chairman of New Delhi-based think tank -- Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS). As an IFS, he rose to the rank of Ambassador and Permanent Representative of United Nations. An alumnus of Hindu College under the Delhi University, Puri was active during the JP movement. He briefly taught in St. Stephens College before joining the foreign service.  

Raj Kumar Singh
MoS (Independent Charge), Ministry of Power and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
A former Bihar cadre IAS officer of 1975 batch, RK Singh became union home secretary before joining politics and winning the 2014 Lok Sabha poll from Arrah in Bihar on a BJP ticket. He did English literature from St. Stephens College, Delhi University. He also holds an LLB degree. Singh had served both in defence and home ministries from early 1990s before clinching the post of secretary, defence production in July 2009. Then, he was made the country’s home secretary with a fixed tenure of two years. In 1986, Singh did a 20-week-long management course from a Netherlands-based institute.  

Satyapal Singh
MoS, HRD, and Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation
A former IPS officer of 1980 batch who rose to become Mumbai’s police commissioner, Satyapal Singh is BJP’s Lok Sabha MP from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh. The officer-turned-politician first hogged the limelight when he had worked in the Naxal-hit areas of Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Later, he did his PhD in Naxalism. He is also an MBA from an Australian university. Singh did M.Phil in chemistry from Delhi University, but he maintained a better chemistry with spiritualism and ancient India, particularly the Vedic age. “Every minute and meaningful knowledge of the Universe, guidance or instructions for individuals, domestic, social, national or international harmonious, sustainable and holistic development are provided in the Vedas in seed forms…Vedas are encoded with scientific and technological insights, experiments and riddles,” Singh once wrote in a blog post. 

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