It is not easy to live the life of a civil service officer. From the very initial days of their preparations to crack the most demanding and strenuous examination in the country, a civil service aspirant begins to think and act like an officer 'for the people.' And this not-so-easy a challenge continues as they progress in their careers.
On April 21, the nation salutes its civil service officers for their relentless services, staunch commitment, and work to the cause of the citizens.
Honouring the 'Steel frame of India'
Civil Service in India includes the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and a comprehensive list of All India Services and Central Services Group A and Group B.
The day commemorates Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's address to the probationers of Administrative Services Officers in 1947 at Metcalf House, Delhi. Patel, India's first Home Minister referred the civil servants as the 'steel frame of India'.
The Central Government evaluates the work of various departments under the civil services on the day, motivates and appreciates the work and efforts of all Civil Service officers across the nation.
On this day, we bring a few among the major civil servants whom the nation honours for their relentless commitment and services:
Ajay Kumar Bhalla IAS, 1984, Assam-Meghalaya
Ajay K. Bhalla, the union home secretary is a 1984-batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer. He has served as the union power secretary and held key government positions in the center and in his parent cadre. Seen as someone who quietly works and delivers the results, Bhalla is an able administrator who had been at the forefront of resolving and mitigating many crisis situations.
Bhalla is leading India's fight against the pandemic in his capacity as Chairperson, National Executive Committee under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. He is also coordinating with other ministries to ensure a smooth flow of essential services while also handling the work of the Ministry of Home Affairs - all this without caring for any publicity.
BVR Subrahmanyam IAS, 1987
The J&K Chief Secretary, Subrahmanyam has earlier worked with PMO as a joint secretary and enjoyed the confidence of PM Modi and other top officials in the government. He is seen as central to Home Minister Amit Shah's Mission Kashmir. Posted to the state in the third week of June 2018 as new Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, he began the preparations for various initiatives to improve grassroots level governance in J&K. Under his leadership, the government departments are said to have turned more public centric. He played a key role in ensuring that the situation in J&K remained under control post abolition of Article 370 and continues to motivate and lead officers to deliver quality governance in the UT of J&K.
Gupteshwar Pandey, IPS 1987, Bihar
The senior IPS officer is now the director-general of police of Bihar. Pandey is known for his hands-on style of policing and attempts at making the civil society an active participant in law enforcement. He has popularised Sharabbandi (abstinence from alcohol), a major focus of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had announced a complete ban on the sale of alcohol in Bihar three years ago. A very forthright officer who believes in facts rather than fiction and calls spade a spade.
MV Rao, IPS 1987, Jharkhand
Rao, hailing from Guntur has been appointed as the Jharkhand DGP. The senior IPS officer has been holding additional charge of D-G, Fire Services and Home Guard. He continues to hold that post as well along with that of the state DGP.
Praveen Sood, IPS, 1986, Karnataka
A 1986 batch IPS officer, Praveen Sood has played an incremental role in introducing various technology solutions. Sood is responsible for bringing technological solutions into the Karnataka police. During his tenure as Bangalore Police City Commissioner, he liberated technology for everyday policing. Sood built the technological wall for monitoring traffic and at CID he brought world-class forensic lab for Karnataka. The IIT Delhi graduate is also credited for launching Namma 100 Emergency Response System, Suraksha app, and Pink Hoysala to help women and children in distress.
Sood is currently the DG & IGP of Karnataka. Despite his endless contributions, the IPS officer maintains a low profile.
Selvakumar, IAS, 1997, Karnataka
A 1997 batch IAS officer of Karnataka cadre, Selvakumar has held some key positions in the government, helping chief ministers as well as the PM. He has served as the Secretary to the Karnataka CM - both Kumaraswamy as well as Yediyurappa, which is an unusual practice in the administration. He was also appointed as Director of the Prime Minister's Office, first to be chosen when PM Narendra Modi came to power and he served for five years. Selvakumar maintains a low profile but his contribution isn't unknown. He worked closely with the then Finance Minister of India late Arun Jaitly in the financial matters of the nation as well.
Bhaskar Rao, IPS 1990, Karnataka
The incumbent Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru, Rao has proved his mettle during the current tenure as the police chief of the metropolitan city. From effectively handling major crisis situations to focussing on modern policing, Rao has thus far managed to live up to the expectations of the public, the police force, and the government. His focus on fake news, tech and proactive policing with a focus on the police-public relations have been lauded by all sections of the society. Prior to the current posting, Rao, an avid cyclist, was ADGP, KSRP where he actively focussed on sports and organizational development.
Pratap Reddy, IPS, 1991, Karnataka
A 1991 batch IPS officer, Pratap Reddy is ADG Communication & Logistics & Modernization, Karnataka Police. Reddy is admired by his peers for his humble attitude and efficient working nature. His decades of service and seniority doesn't come forth as intimidating as he is extremely approachable. When Reddy was the additional commissioner of police in Bengaluru in 2015, he was part of the team responsible for bringing don Bannanje Raja to Karnataka, the first extradition for the state. His ranks grew over the years and he is still considered as the go-to person if there's a job that needs to be get done within his ranks.
G.P. Singh IPS, 1991, Assam cadre
A 1991-batch IPS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, G.P Singh IPS is the ADG Law & Order Assam. He was rushed to the state after violent protests against CAA Bill swelled in Assam. The IPS officer was posted to the state overnight and he delivered quickly. Singh has worked with the NIA, where he was instrumental in many important cases, including Khalistani terrorism, Fidayeen attacks in J&K among other militant-related cases in Northeastern region and Punjab. He supervised the NIA in the targeted killings of RSS leaders between 2016 and 2017. Singh is also easily approachable and responsive on Twitter.
Syed Akbaruddin, IFS, 1985
Renowned IFS officer, Akbaruddin is India's ambassador and permanent representative at the United Nations in New York since January 2016. In his distinguished career spanning over 34 years, Akbaruddin has served in different capacities in India and abroad. His first foreign assignment was in Cairo, and later donned many roles involved in India's foreign relations.
Rohit Kansal, IAS 1995, J&K
The Jammu & Kashmir administration has given additional charge of the CEO of J-K Economic Reconstruction Agency to Rohit Kansal who is currently serving as Principal Secretary, Planning, Development and Monitoring Department. His role in the present COVID-19 crisis is lauded on a national level for the manner in which he has been keeping the public and the media informed and putting out regular updates.
Kansal has led the office of the then Minister of New and Renewable Energy, GoI and the office of P Chidambaram, former Finance Minister of India. He has been the district magistrate and collector in some of the most difficult terrorist infested areas in the states of Jammu and Kashmir. As the collector of Jammu in 2002 during Operation Parakram, he oversaw the relief and temporary resettlement of over half a million villagers displaced by the massive security build-up on either side of the Indo-Pak border.
Shahid Choudhry, IAS 2008, J&K
Shahid Iqbal Choudhary IAS was the first from the Gujjar community in Jammu and Kashmir to clear the UPSC civil service examinations. He has served on many vital positions in the UT and was always seen as the best performer with massive public support to his methods of working. Choudhary, as DC Srinagar has had one of the toughest jobs after the abrogation of Article 370 in the erstwhile state, managing not just a curfew bound city without phone lines, but also the detention of mainstream politicians. His district is one of the best managed in J&K during the COVID-19 pandemic and he remains approachable and responsive to requests from the public.
Captain Pradeep Shoury Arya, IRS 2004
The country's first Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer and Additional Commissioner of Income-Tax, Mumbai (Investigation Wing), Captain Pradeep Shoury Arya, IRS, has been awarded Shaurya Chakra for his efforts in thwarting an infiltration bid in Kashmir. Commissioned into the 106 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army, he was the mission leader tasked to form an intelligence network along the LoC in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Vikas Swarup, IFS 1986
Author of the best seller "Q&A", which was later adapted to the Oscar-winning movie 'Slumdog Millionaire', Swarup is now the incumbent Secretary (West) at the Ministry of External Affairs. He had previously been the High Commissioner of India in Canada and has been the official spokesperson of the MEA. In April 2015, he was appointed as the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India to head its Public Diplomacy Divisions.
Dhruv Purari Singh, IRS, 2009
The man behind an unprecedented action against the black money chain in India. He tightened the noose around the shell companies in Kolkata, banning 58,000 bank accounts of 35,000 alleged shell companies who have deposited and withdrawn over Rs 17,000 crore during demonetization.
Rema Rajeshwari, IPS 2009, Telangana
The first female Indian Police Service officer from Munnar and a topper of the Indian Police Service class of 2009. Her first assignment was as an Assault Commander, with the prestigious 'Greyhounds'. During her tenure as the Mahbubnagar SP, she roped in gender trainers from a civil society organization and trained all the police officers to be sensitive while dealing with victims of various kinds of gender-based violence. She is also seen as one of the very first IPS officers who took on fake news/misinformation.
Praveen Kesavan, IFS (Forest), 1986
The 1986 batch IFS officer is now the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force. He began his career as Assistant Forest Conservator in Nilambur, later as the DFO in Nilambur and Trivandrum, Forest Conservator in Palakkad and Kozhikode, Social Forestry Conservator in Ernakulam and Additional Chief Forest Conservator in the vigilance wing and northern region. His social media use to educate and sensitize the public about wildlife & conservation is widely appreciated.
Musharraf Ali Faruqui, IAS, 2014, Telangana
Faruqui currently serves as the Additional Commissioner of GHMC, IT, he is on a mission to create Brand Hyderabad. One of the first things he did after assuming charge was to introduce a biometric system for over 18,000 sweepers in Hyderabad and for the GHMC staff. He also plans to have facial ID recognition for keeping a record of attendance, materials used etc. His role in beautifying the areas in his zone has been appreciated by the government and the public alike.
TS Sandhu, IFS 1988
Taranjit Singh Sandhu who served as India's high commissioner to Sri Lanka is now the nation's ambassador to the US. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1988 and was tasked with opening the Indian embassy in Ukraine, where he also served as the head of the political and administration wings from 1992 to 1994. He was the first secretary in Washington DC from 1997 to 2000 and with the UN in New York from 2005 to 2009.
Dr. Megha Bhargava, IRS, 2012
Dr. Megha Bhargava, Mumbai's Deputy IT Commissioner, is known for her services to help the poor, who are suffering even for a day's meal. She has provided nearly 5 lakh meals in Mumbai/Bengaluru to daily wagers hit by coronavirus crisis through her self-initiative "Samarpan." In a venture with Mumbai Police and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Bhargava looks out to provide food supply and sanitation kits to 10,000 and more families of daily wage earners who suffer the most due to the pandemic and lockdown crisis.
Krishna Gopal Tiwari, IAS 2008, MP
Tiwari was the first visually impaired candidate in the country to clear the civil service exams. He prepared for the exams through the audio inputs and by the time he sat for the civil services, he had to use scribes to write out his answer papers. Since he could not afford coaching, he largely taught himself – with a little help of his friends who, too, were aiming for the civil services.
Sandeep Choudhary, IPS 2012, J&K
Known for his Operation Dreams, Choudhary's mission aims to help students get past their academic hurdles. Now, the Senior Superintendent of Police at Anantnag, he began Operation Dreams in Jammu with an aim to help aspirants of weaker sections to fetch their dream job of Police Officer without spending much for quality coaching. Currently, he has led some major anti-terror operations in South Kashmir.
Ramesh Krishnamurthy, IRS, 1991
Krishnamurthy now works as Commissioner of Income Tax (Systems) at New Delhi. He is noted for his excellent job in running e-governance systems. He was on deputation to the Department of Economic Affairs as Director (Primary Markets) in the Capital Markets Division when he handled policy matters related to primary issuances in the capital markets.
Armstrong Pame, IAS 2008, Manipur
The most acclaimed civil servant from the North-east, Pame has earned the sobriquet 'Miracle Man' for building a 100 km road famously known as the "Peoples' Road" connecting Manipur to Nagaland and Assam. He raised Rs. 40 lakh for this purpose through his Facebook page donations and to welcome volunteers to this. He was invited to Facebook headquarters in California, where the social media giant applauding the IAS officer for his efforts.
Abdul Qayum, IFS (Forest), 2012
Known for his exemplary educational background, Qayum chose to serve in the forest service, taking into consideration the dwindling natural resources and the struggling wildlife species face due to the grave climatic changes.
Rajendra Bhatt, IAS 2007, Rajasthan
The incumbent collector and DM of Bhilwara in Rajasthan, Bhatt is now widely praised for his 'Bhilwara model' that has been so successful in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the hotspot region. He ensured three cycles of isolation, testing and quarantining to be complete and ensured that Bhilwara has not registered any new COVID-19 cases in the next 10 days.
The government sealed the 2-km area of anyone found positive of COVID-19. The Rajasthan government, including health workers, home guards, police personnel, government officials and every other individual worked round the clock. He ensured the strict implementation of the lockdown, assigning the police officers to deliver essential goods at the doorsteps.
Ajay Prasad, IAS 1969, Himachal Pradesh
Prasad served as the Defence Secretary to the country in 2003. Prasad's tenure witnessed substantial growth in India's defense exports. Prasad has also played an incremental role in launching the Make in India initiative designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure in the country. He now leads the initiatives to equip India with the needed goods during the coronavirus crisis through PSUs and Make in India.
Vikram Doraiswami IFS, 1992
Former Indian ambassador to South Korea in 2015, Doraiswami also served as the Head of the Division for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The most professional diplomat's three-year tenure in South Korea helped in developing India's relations with the country. He helped prepare the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Korea that year, laying the groundwork for the success of New Delhi's "Act East" policy - a core foreign initiative to deepen India's engagement with East Asia.
Harmeet Singh IPS 1992, Assam
Under Harmeet Singh is the Assam police department in India that 'raps and rhymes'. The Assam Police has been noted for their witty, compelling and memorable social media posts for their activities like the seizure of 590 kg of cannabis. Singh has also done commendable work in maintaining the law and order during the mob attacks and turmoil across Assam.
Munish Moudgil, IAS 2008
Moudgil has recently received the National award for E-governance by the Indian Government. One among the most acclaimed civil servants in the country, Moudgil is now praised for his relentless work during the coronavirus crisis. He has been working with BBMP, writing programs for Apps that help people during the pandemic. The social media has been lauding his commitment to creating Corona watch app, Quarantine watch app, along with regular analysis and comparison of the related data.
Arif Sheikh, IPS 2005, Chattisgarh
Arif Sheikh, IPS, is an icon for his praiseworthy initiatives that have not only broken records in terms of participation but also set a benchmark for community policing. His "Rakhi with Khaki" initiative for women empowerment was placed in the Guinness Book of Records with over 1,400 women participating in it. From Superintendent of Police at Balod to DIG/SSP Raipur, Sheikh's rising ranks are a testament to his commitment. He is currently responsible for crime prevention, detection, L&O, and VIP security in Raipur. Click here to read more about some of his major accomplishments.
Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, 1992, Telangana
Jayesh Ranjan is the Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments of the Telangana government. A prolific officer with the right amount of administrative acumen. He has been at the forefront of major IT related advances in the state. Ranjan was the man behind helping Amazon build the largest office and getting IKEA to India.
During the coronavirus pandemic, Ranjan is diligently executing various methods to bring the virus under control. He has launched apps for citizens as well as field officials to gather data on the coronavirus spread for better monitoring and control.
Mahesh M. Bhagwat, IPS 1995, Telangana
Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat is the face of the battle against coronavirus in Rachakonda. From handing rice bags and pulse packets to maintaining law & order in the city, Bhagwat's role has demonstrated great leadership. His unique idea behind holding PRAJADARBAR every Tuesday to listen to people's grievances has proven quite efficient. The 1995 batch IPS officer Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat was named a 'hero' amongst others for combating human trafficking in the US State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. In his career as an IPS officer, Bhagwat has won many accolades for innovative policing. Click here to read more.
S.M.Sahai, IPS 1987, J&K
The 1987 batch IPS officer of J&K Cadre has remained at prolific posts in J&K and is known for his people and law and order management skills and presently posted in the National Security Council Secretariat. Hailed as "super cop" S M Sahai's is considered an unsung hero of 26/11 terror attack. He had planted SIM cards into Lashkar-e-Taiba camps in Pakistan, which eventually saved the lives of numerous hostages during the siege. Sahai is seen among the most successful inspector generals of police in Kashmir in the past 30 years of turmoil.
LK Atheeq IAS, 1991, Karnataka
Recipient of the prestigious "Great Son of Karnataka Award" by All India Conference of Intellectuals for his contribution to the society and development of the state over his tenure, this 1991 batch senior IAS officer is credited with a lot of achievements. LK Atheeq was responsible for social and development sectors while serving the PMO as the Joint Secretary and held a crucial role as the Secretary to Karnataka CM. He is currently the Principal Secretary of Rural Development in Government of Karnataka, where he has been incremental in executing various projects in the rural Karnataka, which range from drinking water to sanitation and other basic amenities. A lot of work he does is to showcase the work of MNREGS workers on social media besides being a proactive officer.
Manivannan, IAS, 1998, Karnataka
Manivannan is a 1998 batch IAS officer who is an advocate of justice and uses technology to the best of his capabilities in the service of others. From being a great labor commissioner to proactively addressing people's concerns on social media platforms like Twitter and Telegram, Manivannan is now taking the battle to COVID-19 head-on.
Mani is also a scholar, and the most approachable bureaucrat in Karnataka, very people friendly and loves revamping old and ineffective processes for the good of the public.
KBS Sidhu, IAS, 1984, Punjab
Karan Bir Singh Sidhu is the Special Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab, but the 1984 batch senior Punjab cadre IAS officer has served the Punjab government in various capacities, including Special Chief Secretary, Revenue and Rehabilitation, Principal Secretary Finance, Home, Irrigation, Housing, and Urban Development, School Education, Higher Education, Technical Education, Social Security, Chief Administrator PUDA and Head of various other Departments, and Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar. He has also served as Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary with the Government of India, on central deputation. He is actively leading the fight against COVID-19 in the state and his efforts are commendable.
Sidhu once secured the surrender, without any casualty, of a hijacker who had hijacked an Indian Airlines plane to Raja Sansi International Airport, Amritsar. He was then posted as Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar.
Soumendu Mukherjee IPS, 1998, Karnataka
The 1998 batch, Karnataka Cadre IPS officer, presently posted as the Additional Commissioner of Police (W) Bengaluru has is known for his role in the State Human Rights Commission report, which concluded that prisoners were tortured in jails and exposed VIP treatment to influential inmates. As the then Inspector General of Police, Southern Range Mukherjee called upon the women Head Constables not to feel discriminated as they enjoy as many powers as the men.
Sonia Narang IPS, 2002, Karnataka
Sonia is an IPS cadre officer of the 2002 batch who served as Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in the Crime Investigation Department (CID). She played an incremental role in exposing corruption in the Lokayukta, leading to the resignation of its then Justice Bhaskar Rao. She also investigated the pre-university question paper scam. Sonia stands for justice without caring who the perpetrator is like the time when she slapped a politician for crossing the line. Currently, the IPS officer is on Central deputation for years and is serving as DIG in the National Investigation Agency (NIA, New Delhi).
Dr. S D Sharanappa IPS, 2009, Karnataka
The 2009 batch Karnataka IPS officer, presently posted as the Deputy Commissioner of Police (East), Bengaluru, is known for his efficiency and dedication to his work. Dr. S D Sharanappa was hitherto SP of Dakshina Kannada until 2016, where his remarkable work in bringing law and order to the city remains commendable. But his journey of coming from a humble background and growing to the ranks of today is nothing short of a fairy tale.
Anirudh Sravan IAS, 2011, Karnataka
The 2011 batch, Karnataka Cadre IAS officer earned the title of Bidar's "people's officer" in just 78 days of his posting in the district. His bold initiatives and people-friendly administration and responsible for well-organized conduct of Assembly Elections ensuring free and fair voting. He also played a crucial role in reducing the use of plastic, illegal sand mining, eradication of child labor, but that doesn't fully define his career's work in the service of the public.
Anirudh is currently posted as the commissioner of the Department of Collegiate Education, he started a YouTube channel Vijaya Bhava in a bid to empower youth, books one must read to get jobs and how to apply for a job in various fields.
Dr. Shamsher Singh IPS, 1991, Gujarat
The batch 1991 IPS officer is currently leading the charge as the ADG CID (Crime) Gujarat Police. He was previously ADGP, Armed police. Dr. Shamsher Singh is fighting the battle against coronavirus in Gujarat, offering all the necessary help to the people while ensuring his core work is maintained. His proactiveness to address people's plight presented before him has been one of his well-liked qualities.
Rohini D, IRS 2008
An IRS officer of the 2008 batch, hails from Bengaluru. In her very first posting as Asst Commissioner of Income Tax, Bengaluru, in 2011, she disguised herself as a budding singer and mounted an Income Tax raid on a popular Music Director of the Kannada film Industry and unearthed significant evasion of income. This had a demonstrative effect on the Kannada Entertainment Industry and that year, the tax collection in the Entertainment sector stood at an all-time high.
As Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, she was vested with the assessment of the infamous and sensitive Karnataka Mining cases involving the high and mighty. She unearthed over Rs 1,400 crores of illegal and assessed in the hands of these mining honchos without fear or favor. All her orders have been upheld by the appellate authorities.
Now posted as Joint Director of Income Tax, Investigation, Chennai , she is leading the Regional Economic Intelligence Council which is actively engaged in sensitive operations on Money laundering and Black Money.
NOTE: This list is not organized as per seniority. There are many more brilliant civil service officers working toward making India shine and we couldn't accommodate all in this list. If you know anyone who deserves to be on this list; please drop an email with "Civil Service List" in the subject line to: email@example.com.