ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I joined the Andhra Pradesh cadre of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the year 1962 and retired, taking voluntary retirement from service, in 1995 as Secretary to the Prime Minister of India. I worked in the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Government of India for a total period of 33 years. During my stint with the Government of Andhra Pradesh I worked, inter alia, as Collector and District Magistrate in the Districts of Warangal and Krishna, Secretary to the Government of Andhra Pradesh in the Departments of Planning and Social Welfare and as Commissioner of Institutional Finances and Commissioner of Food and Civil Supplies.In the Government of India I held the posts of Senior Regional Manager, Food Corporation of India, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Human Resource Development

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looking after the of Planning and Social Welfare and as Commissioner of Institutional Finances and Commissioner of Food and Civil Supplies. In the Government of India I held the posts of Senior Regional Manager, Food Corporation of India, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Human Resource Development looking after the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) programme and worked in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) as Additional Secretary and later as Secretary, between January 1990 and April, 1995 before seeking voluntary retirement. I had a brief stint with the United Nations in 1996 as Senior Policy Adviser on Poverty Policy for SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) stationed in Kathmandu, Nepal. While Commissioner of Civil Supplies in the Government of Andhra Pradesh I helped design a comprehensive Public Distribution System for the state of Andhra Pradesh aimed at food security for the poor that has come to be known popularly as the “Two rupees per KG rice scheme”. Later, while working for the ICDS in the Government of India I helped introduce the inclusion of the adolescent girl in to the programme, in addition to designing an enriched ICDS scheme for 600 most backward, contiguous development blocks in the tribal belt of the States of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and Maharashtra.

During the period I was in the office of the Prime Minister I led the official Indian Delegation to the United Nations during 1994 -95 as India’s Chief Negotiator at the preparatory processes for the World Summit on Social Development (WSSD) and was a member of the delegation led by the Prime Minister to the WSSD held in Copenhagen in March, 1995. Earlier in 1992–93 I was the Prime Minister’s personal representative and Commissioner on the Independent South Asian Commission on Poverty Alleviation set up by the SAARC Heads of State and Government at the SAARC Summit in Colombo in 1991 under the chairmanship of Dr. Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, former Prime Minister of Nepal, and along with the other Commissioners co-authored the Commission’s Report “Meeting the Challenge”- published by the SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu in 1992.  During the period I worked for the Prime Minister of India I helped design a Revamped Public Distribution System focused on 1772 most backward development blocks of the country at  affordable prices and later was closely involved in 1993 in the design and formulation of the Employment Assurance Scheme (EAS) which sought to assure manual wage employment for 2 adults in every family for 100 days on demand in these 1772 blocks, thus dovetailing rural employment for the poor with their food grains needs in the Public Distribution System, making for their comprehensive food security.

My special interest in rural poverty issues and food security persuaded me to take a sabbatical for 2 years in 1985-87 when I researched into these at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Based on my field studies in several States and research I published my book “Deliverance from Hunger – the Public Distribution System in India” in 1992 – Sage Publications India, 1992.

At the request of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi I assisted the NHRC between 1999 and June 2006 as its Special Rapporteur in the Southern Region to take forward the mandate of the Honourable Supreme Court of India given to the NHRC in their order dated the 11th November 1997 in W. P. (Civil) 3922 of 1985 in PUCL Vs State of Tamil Nadu and others, requesting the NHRC to be involved in dealing with the issue of Bonded Labour and supervise the implementation of the laws relating to bonded labour. During this period I also investigated into other cases of violation of human rights referred to me by the NHRC and submitted my reports on them to the Commission. I also wrote a few reports taking cognizance on my own, of human rights violations, to the NHRC seeking action.

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