Policy

Raminder Gujral – ‘a keen' Revenue Secretary

| Updated on: Jul 02, 2011

Raminder Singh Gujral, a 1976 batch IAS, Haryana cadre officer, who took over as Secretary, Department of Revenue, on Thursday evening, was branded a Keen Type Probationer (KTP) in the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

Schooling

Having done his schooling at Lawrence School, Sanawar, he could not get admission to St Stephen's College in Delhi University because he was under-age.

“I passed out of school at 15 and half years. I even met the then Principal of St Stephen's, a Bengali gentleman, (requesting him for an age-relaxation). So, I subsequently joined Chandigarh University, which did not have an age-limit criteria, and graduated in Economics (Hons),” Gujral told Business Line , hours before he joined as the Revenue Secretary.

He got selected to both the IIMs that existed in early 1970s — Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

“Those days, the fees at IIM were quite high. But somebody told me that IIM-A is the best place…If I can afford the fees, I should just go there,” he said.

So, finally he took admission in IIM-Ahmedabad after repeated assurance from his father, an Additional Director in Health Department, that the fees of Rs 25,000-26,000 (in 1972-73) was a financial burden worth taking.

Swimming against the tide

Mr Gujral swam against the tide those days. “It used to be really looked down upon in IIM-A if anybody thought of joining Government those days. But, I decided to join the Government.”

His first job was Financial Analyst in Industrial Investment Corporation of Uttar Pradesh. “Those days, I used to work in office between 9 a.m and 6 p.m.…and then come home and study till 2 a.m. for the Civil Services exam,” Gujral says.

“In Government, wherever I have been posted, there was no dearth of jobs to be done…Each of these postings has given me full satisfaction,” he adds.

To unwind, he reads light novels, takes a brisk walk daily in Lodhi Gardens and plays bridge once in 2-3 weeks.

Department of Revenue officials could look to having long weekend meetings to teach Gujral about the intricacies of the department, at least initially. That was what NHAI officials had to do when Gujral took over additional charge as Chairman.

“If one has to genuinely contribute, it would take at least a couple of months for me to learn ….,” he signs off.

Published on July 02, 2011

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