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Subodh Kumar Singh

Subodh Kumar Singh is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer known for his contributions to various administrative roles across different states and the central government.

Who is Subodh Kumar Singh

Last Updated: June 23, 2024

Subodh Kumar Singh is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer known for his contributions to various administrative roles across different states and the central government. Born in Uttar Pradesh, Singh pursued his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, and later completed an MBA from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi.

Singh’s career began in the IAS in 2002, and he quickly made a mark with his dedication and administrative skills. He received his first national award from the Ministry of Rural Development for excellence in implementing the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in 2002. This early recognition set the tone for his career, highlighting his ability to execute large-scale government programs effectively.

In 2009, Singh was appointed to the Chhattisgarh Secretariat, where he served for nearly a decade under the BJP-led government of Chief Minister Raman Singh. During his tenure, Singh held several key positions, including joint secretary and deputy secretary in the Personnel and General Administration Department, special secretary and director for personnel management, and secretary to the Chief Minister. He also served as managing director of the state’s electricity distribution department and later as secretary of the Mineral Resources and Industries and Commerce Department.

Singh’s contributions in Chhattisgarh were significant. He is credited with digitizing the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), transforming the state’s mineral sector, and improving infrastructure in Naxal-affected areas by enhancing road connectivity. His colleagues attribute the development of airports in Jagdalpur, Bilaspur, and Ambikapur, and the expansion of the state’s rail network, to his efforts.

Despite his achievements, Singh’s tenure in Chhattisgarh was not without controversy. His close association with the then Chief Minister Raman Singh led to perceptions of him being aligned with the BJP. This association became a point of contention when the Congress government, led by Bhupesh Baghel, took power in 2018. Singh was subsequently sidelined and his last posting in the state was as the secretary in the state’s Labour, Stamp, and Registration Department, a position he left in January 2020.

However, even his critics from the Congress acknowledged Singh’s integrity. During his time in the CMO, Subodh Kumar Singh managed to stay clear of major controversies, including a significant Public Distribution Scheme (PDS) scam that implicated several officials close to the former Chief Minister.

In June 2023, Singh was appointed as the chief of the National Testing Agency (NTA). However, his tenure was marred by allegations of irregularities in the conduct of the NEET-UG and UGC-NET exams. These allegations led to his removal from the post in June 2024, and he was placed on compulsory wait in the Department of Personnel and Training. Pradeep Singh Karola, a retired 1985 batch officer, was appointed as his interim replacement.

Throughout his career, Singh has been recognized for his work in promoting transparency and digital transformation. In 2019, he received a national award for his efforts in bringing transparency to the auctioning of minerals, further solidifying his reputation as an effective and innovative administrator.

A retired colleague described Singh as “honest and straightforward,” calling him “a gem of an officer and an asset to the government.” Despite the controversies surrounding his later career, Singh’s earlier contributions and accolades speak to his dedication and skill as a public servant. As his situation unfolds, many of his former colleagues and associates continue to vouch for his integrity and effectiveness.

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