VoW 2019 - Speaker
Ramesh Inder Singh
Ramesh Inder Singh has been a career civil servant in India with long standing professional experience in the field of both, development and regulatory administration. He joined Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1974 and with an outstanding career rose (March 2007) to become the Chief Secretary to the Government, heading Civil Service in Punjab, India.
The Government of India recognized his contribution to public administration by conferring on him one of India’s highest national honours, “Padma Shree”. He took voluntary retirement from the Civil Service (June 2009) to take up statutory post of Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab (India), the transparency watchdog of people’s right to access information from government and public authorities, under India’s Right to Information Act, a position he held till June 2014. Some of his Judgments (Quasi-judicial) were well received as landmark Orders, widening the scope of people’s right to information, laying new norms of transparency and accountability in public affairs.
As a member of the Indian Administrative Service, Ramesh Inder served in different capacities in the States of West Bengal and of Punjab and also in the federal Government at New Delhi, gaining rich experience at all levels of public administration – from grass-roots district administration to policy formulation, monitoring and oversight at government level.
He started his career in Civil Service as a Sub-divisional Officer (1976) in the State of West Bengal, a position at the cutting edge of the field administration, and hands on job to administer a territorial jurisdiction and to implement government policies, programmes and development schemes.
In August 1978 he moved to the Government of Punjab (India) as Additional Deputy Commissioner. Thereafter he served as Deputy Commissioner of Amritsar, then an extremely disturbed area and subsequently rose to the post of Commissioner, logging total field-administrative experience of about eight years. Punjab was in turmoil during this period and in appreciation of his role in conflict management and inter-community harmony, targeting inclusive growth and sustained development, he was awarded the national honour of Padma Shree in 1986.
Ramesh Inder has been Chief Executive of entrepreneurial Corporations – Managing Director (for about five years) of Markfed, a leading Cooperative Supply and Marketing Federation engaged in the business of supplying agricultural inputs, procuring agricultural produce and running agro-processing and industrial manufacturing units.
He has served in a number of high-level managerial positions:
- As Managing Director of Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation, a State level Financial Institution to fund (equity / credit) to industrial ventures and promote industrial growth.
- As Chief Executive of the Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board, a statutory body managing agricultural marketing infrastructure in the State, including the regulatory regime for agricultural markets.
- As Registrar, Cooperative Societies, he administered the Cooperative structure in Punjab, including short and long-term agricultural credit through the State Cooperative Bank and Agricultural Development Bank.
He was Secretary to Government of Punjab, Department of Industries and Commerce, spearheading development initiatives in the State. In an ex-officio capacity (government nominee), he served as Chairman / Director on the Board of some of the leading industrial Companies, such as Punjab Tractors (manufacturing tractors and agricultural machinery), Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Ltd. (a Reliance Group Company), Hindustan Antibiotics Ltd. (a public sector drug manufacturing unit), Hindustan Organic Ltd. (basic chemicals), Indian Acrylics Ltd., Punjab Alkalis, Abhishek Industries (Trident Group – spinning, towel unit), Cheema Spintex and Bhandari Exports (Spinning Units), Puncom (Information Technology and software), to mention some of these.
He served at Delhi (Government of India) as Joint Secretary in Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and also as Director General of Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), a Government of India’s statutory body ensuring social security and health care for labour / workers in the organized sector of the country.
On account of a diversified range of high-level positions held, Ramesh Inder possesses rich experience of policy formulation and oversight dedicated to development. In March 2007, he was appointed as Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab (India), a position of highest level in State administration. Prior to that he served for five years as Principal Secretary (Principal Staff Officer) to the Chief Minister, Punjab – a key position for assisting the elected Head of the Government, in administering the State of Punjab.
Ramesh Inder possesses international experience. He has sat as a panelist on the “Quality Assurance Group” of the World Bank, evaluating some of the Bank Projects. He also worked on a three months consultancy assignment for the World Bank at its HQ in Washington, to evaluate Bank’s agricultural portfolio / funding.
Educational Qualifications and Academic profile:
Prior to joining Civil Service, Ramesh Inder taught (1970-74) Political Science at Constituent Colleges of University of Delhi.
He holds a post-graduate degree in Political Science from the University of Punjab, securing first position in the University (1970) and a degree in law (LLB) from University of Delhi.
Ramesh Inder has undergone a three months programme in Management in Government at the Royal Institute of Public Administration (RIPA), London (UK). He also pursued in-service training programmes at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (India), Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, and National Academy of Administration, to enrich his academic profile.
Currently, he is a Director on the Board of Institute of Development and Communication, (IDC), Chandigarh (India), an autonomous research, training and evaluation organization working in the areas such as peace and conflict resolution, public affairs and economic policy. He is also on the Advisory Board of ‘India Strategic’, a monthly journal on Defence, Homeland security and strategic affairs.