Top 5 Babus of India

No 1: KM Chandrasekhar

The Prime Minister’s recent decision to bestow overriding power to cabinet secretary KM Chandrasekhar-headed committee to monitor Commonwealth Games is just one of many instances of how “soft spoken”, “non-interfering” and “mild” Cab Sec has asserted himself during the last one year as the most powerful bureaucrat in India. His serial extension as India’s top bureaucrat even at the cost of making new rules and causing heartburns to his juniors, has vindicated his clout in the government and demonstrated PM’s growing confidence on him. (Read: Why is Chandrasekhar powerful?)

No 2: TKA Nair
A 1963 batch retired IAS, working as principal secretary to PM since May 2004, TKA Nair, is ranked No 2 in the BoI’s ( list of 5 Most Powerful Bureaucrats second time in a row. From managing crisis for the Prime Minister, meeting ministers on behalf of the PM to taking the viewpoints of top corporate honchos on all policy matters, Nair is still the man of the moment in PMO. (Read: Nair as Henry Kissinger style bureaucrat)

No 3: GK Pillai
Union home secretary GK Pillai is quite assertive, vocal and even non-diplomatic at times when questions of internal security become a priority. Pillai, a 1972 batch Kerala cadre IAS, is ranked 3rd in BoI’s list of 5 Most Powerful Bureaucrats, 2010. Pillai and his boss P Chidambaram are now gearing up for a fool-proof security arrangement for the biggest sporting extravaganza in India, the Commonwealth Games. For Pillai, Games provide an opportunity to make him a true game-changer. (Read: Is Pillai a game-changer?)

No 4: Sudhir Chandra
When 400 taxmen carried out a massive search operation across properties of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda last year to trace his Rs 2000 cr allegedly unaccounted assets, a tax hound sitting at his North Block office was instructing everybody how to be extremely polite in handling the operation, but at the same time be as courageous as “Rani of Jhansi”. Sudhir Chandra, Member, Investigation of Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is the 4th Most Powerful Bureaucrat in the list, and undoubtedly the most surprising candidate. But he is the driving force for making IRS no-lesser mortal in front of IAS. (Read: What makes Sudhir Chandra a powerful bureaucrat?)

No 5: Nirupama Rao
Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, the second woman IFS officer to clinch that coveted post, is suave, polite and as the profession demands “highly diplomatic”. For over one year now, she has been instrumental in motivating her colleagues to act like economic ambassadors of the nation and paint a good image of the country. Her firefighting in GK Pillai’s “ISI remark” episode which had resulted into the collapse of India-Pakistan foreign minister level talks, was the most remarkable during the recent time. She walked across the road to North Block to have a cup of tea with Pillai demonstrating real-diplomacy inside Raisina Hills! 

Source: babusofindia


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