IAS officer Rajendra Kumar’s letter seeking VRS—Part II
NH reproduces the letter seeking VRS, by former Principal Secretary to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. In this second part, Rajendra Kumar talks about his tenure and postings in various parts of the country
The Chief Secretary
Government of NCT of Delhi
Delhi Secretariat, ITO
Subject: Request for Voluntary Retirement under rule 16(2) of AIS DCRB Rules.
During the last weeks of my phase II training at Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy, I got my posting order for Mizoram. My Course Coordinator knew me very well and still he told me that he is not sure whether I would adjust well in Mizoram.
His concerns were well founded. I was the first IAS officer to be posted in junior scale in Mizoram post-insurgency. The language, culture, religion, eating habits and social bonding methods of this remote state of our country are quite different from the rest of the country. Their language is very different from any other language and their food habits and availability of food articles in the markets of Mizoram is difficult to suit a person from other parts of the country.
After my joining the Mizoram Government, I was posted as a Sub Divisional Officer in a remote sub-division called Champhai. No outsider had been posted to this remote sub-division till then. This picturesque sub-division was bordering Myanmar and it took six hours of travel on a very hilly and narrow road from the state capital of Aizawl.
I stayed at Champhai for around two years. I learnt the local language and established excellent rapport with the local people. Even after twenty-three years of leaving Champhai, people from that remote part of the country still visit me and we fondly recollect our time there.
On promotion to senior scale of IAS, I was posted to a district called Lunglei. Again, I was the first outsider IAS officer post-insurgency to be posted as Deputy Commissioner of Lunglei. After two years of my stay at Lunglei, I was posted to state capital Aizawl as Deputy commissioner where I served for three years. The trust of the people of Mizoram in me was so much that I used to get requests to adjudicate major issues between the church denominations and other major groups. Mizoram does not have a separate judiciary and these adjudications had impact on the societal set up and inter-church denomination brotherhood.
Till date, I am the only officer to have served in Mizoram for seven continuous years. Normally the officers of our cadre request for transfer from the north-east and the other difficult areas after two years. In fact, after five years of my stay, for the last two years I had to give a certificate to the Ministry of Home Affairs that I am staying at Mizoram at my own will. Ministry of Home Affairs was probably apprehensive that I will ask for special favours and postings later on, citing my stay of seven years in Mizoram. Anyone who has served in Mizoram can vouch for the trust and rapport which I had built and sustained with the people of Mizoram.
After serving people of Mizoram for seven years, I returned to Delhi and was posted as Deputy Commissioner of the North-West District. After some time, I was given an additional assignment with the office of Chief Electoral Officer and later was posted in Sales Tax Department. During my two years in Sales Tax Department, the Department achieved highest growth in revenue. This was due to meticulous planning and scrutiny of returns filed and resultant enforcement action to catch tax evaders.
I joined Asian Institute of Management at Manila, Philippines through a Government funded program in the year 2001. My course at AIM gave me useful lessons and learnings in working for a developing economy like India. This training was very useful during my tenure as Director in Education Department of Delhi, where during my three years of work, a meticulous and very well planned Management Information System (MIS) was put in place.
“Till date, I am the only officer to have served in Mizoram for seven continuous years. Normally the officers of our cadre request for transfer from the north-east and the other difficult areas after two years. In fact, after five years of my stay, for the last two years I had to give a certificate to the Ministry of Home Affairs that I am staying at Mizoram at my own will. Ministry of Home Affairs was probably apprehensive that I will ask for special favours and postings later on, citing my stay of seven years in Mizoram.”Rajendra Kumar
This MIS managed all aspects of the administrative and educational requirements of Directorate of Education. Today the cost of development of this Management Information System would not be less than forty-fifty crores, but we developed it on a shoestring budget costing not more than fifty-sixty lacs spread over a period of three-five years.
Due to systematic use of this Management Information System, the pass percent of schools of Delhi Government surpassed that of private schools in Delhi. A few years earlier, this would have been thought of as an impossibility and this astounding increase in pass percentage happened not only at the level of class tenth but also at the level of class twelfth. Due to this work, me and my colleagues were awarded Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Service in the year 2008. This award is the highest award for Civil Service in India and it was started in the year 2007 by the Government of India. So far, ours is the only project which has won this award without recommendation from the State Government concerned.
In fact, the then Chief Secretary refused to recommend the project to the Department of Administrative Reforms, Government of India. Having learnt that the State Government has refused to recommend this project, it was chosen by the jury on its own. Our work at Education Department also won four National e-governance awards.
The way e-governance awards are awarded to various departments of the country; it broadly ensures that no department or project gets this award more than once. We got this award four times in successive years. This project also won many other awards from different societies and organisations. The fact that our work got so many awards, speaks volumes about the intensive effort put in the project from conceptualisation to implementation.
The Education Department has a very large number of staff in form of teachers and educators at school level and we maintained excellent relations with everyone. So much so that even till this day, the then office bearers of the Delhi School Teachers Association visit me and express their gratitude for the administrative services rendered by our Management Information System.
I volunteered to go out of Delhi after getting my super-time scale in IAS and in the year 2005, I was posted to Andaman and Nicobar Islands just after the Tsunami. I also served for around six months in Lakshadweep before coming back to Delhi in February 2007. Lakshadweep is a very difficult territory and probably I was the first Administrator of Lakshadweep, who went there with his family including two very young children.
End of Part II; to be concluded.
The letter has not been edited.
Read Part I of the letter here.
- Ministry of Home Affairs
- IAS officer
- Chief Secretary
- Rajendra Kumar
- Voluntary Retirement from Service
- Lal Bahadur Shastri Academy
- Sub Divisional Officer
- Deputy Commissioner
- Chief Electoral Officer
- Sales Tax Department
- Asian Institute of Management
- Directorate of Education
- Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Service
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands