Q & A With International News And Views Corporation’s Civil Servant of year
[caption id="attachment_242985" align="aligncenter" width="492"] International News And Views Corporation’s Civil Servant of year[/caption]
V.Srinivas joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1989 aged 22. He has an M.Tech degree in Chemical Engineering from the prestigious College of Technology, Osmania University. He was allotted to the Rajasthan cadre. On October 5, 2017 he has been appointed as Chairman Board of Revenue for Rajasthan, the youngest Chairman in the 70-year history of the Board. In 29 years of public service, he has held critical positions as District Collector at Pali and Jodhpur, Private Secretary to External Affairs Minister of India and Finance Minister of India, Advisor to Executive Director (India) International Monetary Fund Washington DC, Planning and Finance Secretary (Budget) Rajasthan, Secretary Family Welfare & Mission Director NRHM, Joint Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Culture, Director General National Archives of India, Deputy Director (administration) AIIMS and Chairman of the Rajasthan Tax Board.
In 2017, he has delivered 5 Orations and authored 51 published articles. His delivered the 125thProf S.R.Ranganathan Memorial Oration on Librarian’s Day at National Library Kolkata, the Independence Day Oration at Amity University Rajasthan, the International Archives Day Oration at the Reserve Bank of India, Pune and 2 Special Lectures at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration and the National Archives of India. He is a recipient of the Indian Council of World Affairs Fellowship for 2017 for undertaking book research on India’s Relations with the International Monetary Fund. His published articles covered public finance, banking, planning, macroeconomics, affordable health care, rainfed agriculture, rural development and combating corruption.
An Institution Builder par excellence, he has played a leadership role in conceptualization and implementation of the First Digital Revolution in Health Care - “Digital AIIMS” comprising of the Online Registration System and AIIMS OPD Transformation and in the “AIIMS Housing Redevelopment Project”. On 16th August 2016, the Prime Minister has commended the Digital AIIMS for pan India replication. He has been conferred with the AIIMS Leadership Excellence Awards for 2015 and 2017. He is the recipient of 2 Kaya Kalp Awards for Clean Hospital Campaign for AIIMS, 3 National Productivity Council Awards for Highest Productivity in Rainfed Agriculture, merit certificates from 2 Chief Ministers of Rajasthan, a number of letters of appreciation for outstanding public service. A Junior National Badminton Champion and an All India Universities and All India Central Schools Champion, he has captained Osmania University badminton team for 7 years, and represented the Andhra Pradesh Badminton team for 8 years.
As Chairman Board of Revenue, V.Srinivas has ushered in the First Digital Revolution in Revenue Courts Administration, the Digital Rajasva Mandal, that aims at modernization of 1327 Revenue Courts of Rajasthan over the next 12 months.
V.Srinivas is the International News And Views Corporation’s ( INVC ) Civil Servant of year given his visionary leadership, competence, commitment, integrity, team building, policy formulation and large recognition as the last mile man – capable of producing transformational governance.
The INVC's Board recognises the contribution of V.Srinivas to Nation Building. His efforts contribute to the broader government policy of Making a New India in the 21st Century by 2022 a reality
Zakir Hussein Editor International News And Views Corporation
The following are the excerpts from his interview with INVC:
Question : Congratulations on being chosen the Civil Servant of the year by International News And Views Corporation. How does it feel ?
Answer : I am deeply humbled with the choice of INVC. I joined the IAS at 22, an age when idealism and enthusiasm for public service pervaded me. For nearly 3 decades, I have dedicated myself to long work weeks with a seriousness of purpose contributing to building the great institutions of Indian democracy. Hard work alone is not sufficient - leadership skills and intense commitment to public cause are important to build institutions.
I have had the opportunity to serve with 7 legends of the IAS who were great institution builders – B.N.Yugandhar, M.L.Mehta, Dr. Y.V.Reddy, S.Narayan, Duvvuri Subbarao, Vinod Rai and Rahul Khullar. Each one of them inspired me to greater heights of excellence. They were men who were deeply committed to pro-poor policies. Their understanding of India’s Institutions was honed by their long experience in several Ministries of Government of India further boosted by foreign postings. They had the courage, conviction and integrity to take decisions in critical challenging times. They also had the capacity to engage with the political leadership in coherent policy discussions.
I have tried to adopt these practices in my career – incorruptible commitment and dedication to the public cause has marked my 3 decades in IAS.
Question : You represented India on the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund at a very young age. How was the experience?
Answer : I served as Advisor to Executive Director (India) at the IMF from 2003 to 2006. The IMF is one of the world’s truly great institutions and India has been a founder member of the IMF. It was a unique experience to understand India’s deep and abiding commitment to multilateralism and democracy. India has a poster boy status on the IMF and was a leading voice for Emerging Market Economies and Low Income Countries. I interacted extensively with each of the 24 Executive Director Offices, the African and East European countries in particular. I attended 15-17 Executive Board meetings every month and submitted nearly 300 position papers for India. The IMF gave me in-depth knowledge of handling macroeconomic crisis in Turkey and Argentina. Further I understood fiscal adjustment & expenditure reform, monetary and trade policies of major economies and the IMF’s advice for stabilization and growth. I came back with a firm belief that sustainable Institutions are the bedrock of democracy and liberalism in economic policy making was necessary for poverty reduction and growth. I could interact with several officials from the Reserve Bank of India during this period. Monetary Policy is subject with which not many IAS officers are not familiar with and I gained an in-depth knowledge of RBI’s history and India’s IMF programs of 1966-67, 1981-83 and 1991-93.
The experience empowered me with a reformist mindset for pursuing major trade reforms in my years as Joint Secretary Textiles when I was handling India’s cotton policy and textiles exports in the years 2010-2013.
I have been awarded an Indian Council of World Affairs book research fellowship in March 2017 to document the experience.
Question : Please tell us about the major reforms you had pursued as Joint Secretary Textiles handling exports and the cotton divisions.
Answer : Textiles is one of critical sectors of the Indian economy contributing significantly to employment generation and exports. India is also a major cotton exporting economy, infact India is global capital for the empire of cotton as the world’s 2nd largest producer, consumer and exporter. I authored the Textiles Chapter for the 12th Plan document of Ministry of Commerce “Boosting India’s Manufacturing Exports” projecting a significant growth path as also headed 5 other sub-groups of the Ministry of Textiles on growth of industry, skill development, cotton sector etc. In my tenure as Joint Secretary, textiles exports increased from US $ 18 billion to US $ 40 billion generating lacs of new jobs in textiles and clothing sectors – the industry was in a sustained boom period in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
My years in the Ministry of External Affairs and IMF empowered me to engage vigorously with major trading partners – Japan, United States, China and European Union. India’s textiles sector remained highly protectionist for domestic industry and liberalization was gradually pursued to boost employment opportunities and foreign exchange earnings. I also engaged and explored several new markets like Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Malaysia, Argentina, Uruguay seeking bilateral agreements and organizing export promotion shows.
I was also represented India on the International Cotton Advisory Committee for several years heading Indian delegations to Plenary Committee meetings to Lubbock, Texas USA, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Interlaken, Switzerland. There was a need to strengthen the collection of cotton statistics in India and I worked towards putting in place a cotton statistics notification with Textiles Commissioner as the Cotton Statistics Collection Authority. They were difficult years for the global cotton economy, with significant cotton price volatility. Government had to pursue protectionist measures to protect the textiles industry.
Question : You had significant success in promoting Cultural Diplomacy?
Answer : My stint as Joint Secretary Ministry of Culture was fascinating. I helped formulate and implement the Plan Scheme “Festivals of India Abroad” for promotion of Indian culture in many foreign countries. Festivals of India abroad were conducted in Cuba, Peru, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, South Africa, Japan and Indonesia in my tenure. The scheme has provided opportunities to several young artists to present their skills abroad. The Indian Missions abroad have tremendous expertise in cultural engagement and I could engage constructively with several Ambassadors of India.
I commenced the National Mission on Libraries which benefitted several major Libraries and strengthened the Library movement. Serving on the Boards of Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, the National Library were very enriching experiences. I headed the National Archives of India as Director General from August 2013 to December 2014 during which period several major exhibitions of archival papers were held. The NAI collaboration with Ministries of External Affairs, Home Affairs, HRD resulted in significant acquisition of new records. I presented the work done for promoting Cultural Diplomacy in the Prof S.R.Ranganathan Memorial Librarian’s Day Lecture commemorating the 125th birthday of Prof S.R.Ranganathan at National Library Kolkata.
Question : The All India Institute of Medical Sciences was a significant success story for your administrative leadership. Please tell us what you did there.
Answer : The All India Institute of Medical Sciences is India’s greatest medical sciences University. The Deputy Director (Administration) AIIMS is a post held by the IAS since 1956. I served there from December 2014 - March 2017. There is huge institutional legacy and I wrote a number of papers to present the history and Journeys of AIIMSONIANS as part of the AIIMS Diamond Jubilee Celebrations. I contributed significantly to AIIMS international collaborations, timely recruitments, procurement decisions, Digital AIIMS, commencement of civil works of the National Cancer Institute and the Redevelopment of AIIMS Residential Campuses, Fire Safety and Trauma care. The success story of the Digital AIIMS – both the online registration systems and OPD Transformation projects have been recognized. AIIMS enabled replication and onboarding of the Online Registration System in over 150 public hospitals of India. The Digital AIIMS is the First Digital Revolution in Health Care.
It was in AIIMS that I recognized the significant benefits of a fully digital institution. I worked towards this objective, and in June 2016, AIIMS became India’s First Fully Digital Public Hospital. It was a moment of personal satisfaction to see that the 3 am lines had disappeared following simplification of the patient’s journey. The Saving of the Titanic moment as a faculty colleague called it.
The National Cancer Institute will be completed in September 2018, and that would be a major milestone for Cancer Care in India.
Question : What are the administrative challenges you have identified in your current assignment as Chairman Board of Revenue.
Answer : The Board of Revenue is amongst Rajasthan’s greatest institutions with a historical legacy dating back to 70 years. Several Chairmen have led this Institution with great poise and dignity.
It takes a lifetime of knowledge assimilation to reach the position of Chairman Board of Revenue for Rajasthan. Land reforms became the centrality of my initial career years as I strived for improved justice delivery armed with the provisions of the Rajasthan Tenancy Act and Rajasthan Land Revenue Act. I worked as a Court, a field officer leading revenue campaigns, conducting night halts, interacting with Patwaris and Tehsildars for the cause of better Revenue administration. My knowledge of land reforms in Rajasthan have been honed by postings as Sub Divisional Officer at Bhilwada and Nimbaheda, Colonization Commissioner at Bikaner, and District Collector at Pali and Jodhpur. Adhering to Court timings, reading files before coming to the bench and writing timely court judgments was a passion that I developed in my early years which I maintain to this day.
The litigant remains the centrality of the Board of Revenue. Improved Justice Delivery systems have to be the priority area for governance in the Board of Revenue. In the past 85 days when I have held additional charge of the post of Chairman of the Board of Revenue, I have had an opportunity to study the litigant’s journey in Revenue Courts quite closely. Providing timely justice depends on the collaboration between the Bench and the Bar. In my tenure as Chairman Board of Revenue, I would strive to maintain the cordiality in relations between the Bench and the Bar. I recognize that currently revenue cases being instituted on a monthly basis far exceeds the cases being decided, adding to the cumulative case-loads the Institution is carrying. Our technological modernization needs remain significant. The manual system of handling 65000 court cases is barely able to cope with the rigors of modern day revenue court administration. The Digital Rajasva Mandal – which represents the First Digital Revolution in Revenue Court Administration in India is a significant step forward in transparency and litigant friendliness. In a major step forward, the Board of Revenue for Rajasthan has started placing judgments online.
Question : You are one of the few academically driven Civil Servants. What is the inspiration.
Answer : I have trained myself to write extensively on macroeconomics, banking, planning, trade and commerce, skill development and several other issues. The inspiration comes from 2 men – Dr. Y.V.Reddy and Duvvuri Subbarao, who write and teach extensively. I wish to follow their footsteps and contribute significantly to Nation Building.
V.Srinivas IAS is the Senior Bureaucrats and Author
V.Srinivas is an IAS officer of 1989 batch, presently posted as Chairman Board of Revenue for Rajasthan
He had previously served in the Ministry of Finance and as Advisor to Executive Director (India) IMF, Washington DC. Also worked as Planning and Finance Secretary of Rajasthan.