Meet the Secretary

Name

AJAY NARAYAN JHA

Date of Birth

January 15, 1959

Educational Qualifications (Academic)

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  1. Master of Arts (MA) in Economic Policy Management.1995-1997
  2. Chancellor’s Certificate of Merit in Intensive course in Managerial French

Delhi University, Delhi, India

St. Stephen’s College

  1. Master of Arts (MA) in History with First Class (1979-1981)
  2. Bachelor of Arts (BA) with First Class Honors in History. (1976 -1979).

Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

  • Master in Philosophy (M. Phil) in Public Administration (July 2005 – March 2006).
  • Wrote a dissertation on the “Changing role of the Election Commission of India : Institutional Evolution, Development and Consolidation (1950-2004)”.

Service to which belongs

Indian Administrative Service (Manipur-Tripura 1982)

Designation of the post held at present

Secretary (Expenditure), Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance.

Date from which the post held

November 1, 2017 - Continuing

Posts held

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

  1. Officer on Special Duty, Deptt. of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance  - October 13, 2017   to   October 31, 2017
  2. Secretary, M/o Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan,  Jor Bagh, New Delhi – 110 003 – May 1, 2016 onwards  - October 13, 2017

Work Experience

Special Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance - January 1, 2015 to  April 30, 2016

Secretary, Fourteenth Finance Commission, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, New Delhi - September 29, 2012 to  December 31, 2014

Attended to wide ranging issues relating to federal fiscal relations, review and assessment of Union and State Finances, Fiscal Management, Rules and Reform, Local Self Government,  Disaster Management and all other issues that came before the Commission. Doing this required understanding, appreciation and articulation of constitutional, legal, theoretical and practical considerations as well as the legacy issues arising from the recommendations of the previous Finance Commissions. I assembled the secretariat, identified the premises, equipped the office and coordinated all its activities with impressive efficiency.  Provided stellar leadership in directing, coordinating and supervising consultations, and meeting with a wide range of stake holders, culminating in the finalisation of the report.  Above all, my active participation in all the discussions in the Finance Commission, drawing upon sound knowledge, varied experience and deep appreciation of political economy as well as public systems was invaluable. The Chairman and Members of the Fourteenth Finance Commission recorded their appreciation in the report itself for my work as the Secretary of the Commission for anchoring the work to its fruition. The recommendations have marked a fundamental shift in federal fiscal relations and provided a new context to cooperative federalism.

Joint Secretary & Financial Advisor, Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, New Delhi - August 23, 2010 to September 28, 2012

As JS&FA, was responsible for finalization and management (including expenditure control) of the Annual Plan and Budget of the Ministries under my charge and served as an interface between the Ministries and the Ministry of Finance/Planning Commission. My role was to render prompt and valuable financial advice to the various divisions of the concerned Ministries, autonomous bodies and PSUs; and contributing with critical inputs to established premier institutions like IITs/IIMs/IISc/UGC/AICTE/NITs etc besides contributing to the incubation of new IITs/NITs/IISERs and Central Universities and flagship programmes of SSA, MDM and Sakshar Bharat.

Principal Secretary (Finance) (additional charge of Department of Forest & Environment and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister) Government of Manipur, Imphal -
4th June, 2008  to August 21, 2010

As head of the financial administration reporting directly to the Chief Minister (who held the finance portfolio),  had complete responsibility for management of finances of the state government. Additionally, as head of the Forest & Environment Department, my tasks included policy and strategic management and coordination with different agencies, and communities to shape the policy discourse of the different agencies of the department towards the challenges of climate change and sustainable development.  As Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister I assisted in discharge of his constitutional and administrative responsibilities particularly on finances, development issues and internal security.

Joint Secretary (Administration), Indira Gandhi National Center for the Arts (IGNCA), New Delhi - 10th May 2006 to 30th May 2008

Leader of the team of officials managing the administration, finances and academic programmes of the entire center. Tasks included planning and coordination of academic and program activities, overseeing the implementation of the planned programs and their timely execution, liaison with the government ministries, universities, academic institutions, media, researchers and scholars. I revamped the finances of the Centre and reintroduced internal institutional discipline. The programs were revitalized and put back on rails through additional funds that were mobilised from the government and enhancing the secondary corpus through savings on establishment expenditure. The Building program was revived to complete the ongoing projects.

Deputy Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India, New Delhi - 31st May 1999 to 30th May 2005

As one of the two Deputy Election Commissioners, I reported directly to the three-member Election Commission of India on policy and strategic planning; electoral laws and legal matters; management, logistics and finance for conduct of elections; introduction, expansion and popularization of electronic voting machines; voter registration, voter ID cards, capacity building through training and development of training materials; matters connected with political parties, including registration, recognition and monitoring of inner-party democracy and accounts; international cooperation and coordination with international agencies and missions; induction, briefing and deployment of election observers; media issues and media management including being the official spokesperson; and, enforcement of the model code of conduct for the political parties, union and state governments. I was also fully responsible to the Commission for conduct of elections to both houses of the Parliament, offices of the President and the Vice-President and elections to the state legislatures of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Uttaranchal, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Pondicherry. I planned and executed the first nation-wide general elections using EVMs in 2004

Finance Secretary, Government of Manipur - December 4, 1998 to May 26, 1999

As head of the financial administration reporting directly to the Chief Minister (who held the finance portfolio), I had complete responsibility for management of finances of the state government.

Secretary to the Governor of Manipur, Imphal - November 6, 1997 to December 4, 1998

As the Head of Establishment of the Governor’s Secretariat, I assisted the Governor in discharge of his constitutional responsibilities. These included preparation of policy and strategic documents for his meetings with ministers and government functionaries; briefings on all major economic, administrative, security and political issues; and liaise on his behalf with the Central Government, the state government and district administration. The main focus was on conflict resolution in the state afflicted by four decades of insurgency and violent ethnic strife.

Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, New Delhi - February 1, 1995 to November 12, 1995

I planned, coordinated and executed the Information, Education and Communication (I.E.C.) program utilizing a multi-media approach for increasing awareness and people’s participation in poverty alleviation and rural development projects throughout the country. The campaign created the foundation for the launch of various rural development and poverty alleviation schemes.

Other responsibilities

Private Secretary to the Union Minister of State, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, New Delhi (June 30, 1994 to December 22, 1994)

As the Chief of staff to the Minister I assisted in preparation of cabinet briefs; analyzed memos on key economic issues and formulated policy drafts for rural poverty alleviation programs and decentralization of powers to democratically elected rural local bodies (Panchayati Raj Institutions).

Managing Director - National Federation of Industrial Cooperatives Limited, New Delhi (1992 – 1993)

CEO of a federation for development of marketing strategies supporting 43,000 mainly rural industrial cooperatives with a combined membership of 4.15 million.

Secretary to the Chief Minister of Manipur (1990 – 1991)

Chief of staff to the Chief Minister of Manipur state.
Aided and advised the Chief Minister on conflict resolution in the state afflicted by four decades of insurgency and violent ethnic strife.

Director of Industries - Manipur ( 1989 – 1990)

Head of department responsible for policy formulation, strategic planning and administering of support schemes for development and growth of industries.

Deputy Commissioner - Ukhrul District, Manipur. (1987 – 1989)

Top government official in the district of Ukhrul in charge of security, law and order, development planning and implementation of public sector development programs.
Managed  and handled insurgency and related issues of development, security and building public confidence in the epicenter of Naga insurgency

Deputy Secretary (Finance), Manipur (1985 – 1987)

Sub-Divisional Officer, Churachandpur, Manipur.  (1983 - 1985 )

SPECIAL EXPERIENCE

  • Wrote a paper on India’s Election Management Bodies for the IDEA( Handbook on the structuring and financing of electoral management bodies).
  • Leader of the team from India deputed to Observe the Presidential elections in Palestine (January 2005).
  • Participated in the 26th International Congress of Administrative Sciences at Seoul, South Korea, from July 14-18, 2004 on “E-governance: challenges and opportunities for democracy, administration and law” and made a presentation on “Use of Electronic Voting Machines in Indian elections”.
  • Worked on the project “Integration of Environmental Concerns into Economic Policy Making Processes” undertaken by the Development Research and Policy Analysis Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP), Bangkok between July-September, 1997 which reviewed 15 country studies from three sub-regions and wrote an analytical study :”Integration of Environmental Concerns into Economic Policy making processes: A study of Institutional mechanisms in Nepal, the Philippines and Fiji”.
  • Participated as an Expert in the Sub-regional Expert Group Meeting of UNESCAP for South Asia at Colombo in November, 1997 on the subject of “Integration of Environmental concerns into Economic Policy making processes”.
  • Participated in the Regional Expert Group Meeting of UNESCAP for the Asia-Pacific region in Bangkok in July, 1998 on the subject of “Integration of Environmental concerns into Economic Policy making processes”.
  • Worked as a Consultant for UNESCAP on the State of the Environment (SOE) Report, 2000 for Asia and the Pacific and contributed a chapter on “Governance for Sustainable Development: Institutions and Legislation”. (1999) 

AWARDS

World Bank Graduate Scholarship (1995-97) to pursue M.A. in Economic Policy Management at McGill University, Montreal.

LANGUAGE SKILLS

  • Fluent in English and Hindi.
  • Possess a good working knowledge of spoken and written French.

PERSONAL

Interests include music, soccer and cinema.