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Recollections of Bygone Era of Political & Public Administration

Bengaluru, 30th December 2015: Shri.N.Viswananthan was a member of the Karnataka Cadre of the Indian Administrative Service from1966 to 2002. Thirteen years after his retirement, he has written and recently released his autobiographical work – The Service. in which he has explained, in enchanting detail, a few of the pioneering, unique and enlightened policies, projects and schemes of the Government of Karnataka, with which he was directly and intimately associated and which did result in an enhancement of the standard of living and life of a few million people of the State. A former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, a Principal Secretary, Commerce and Industries Department, a Managing Director of the then undivided KSRTC, an Additional Chief Secretary –cum-development Commissioner etc., he narrates in a gripping manner, the complex situations in almost all sectors of the economic development and administration and in all segments of the society at large with anecdotes that actually happened in his career.

Take for instance “The Busman”. In this chapter, he narrates, to the minutest detail possible, the logistically peculiar and at times funny or depressing situations that arise in the management of a huge Public Utility service, namely the Road Transport and the solutions that could be evolved and implemented in the interests of many millions of commuters. His account of the manner in which issues like rickety buses, inadequate bus transport services in the rural and remote areas, non-issue/re-issue of tickets, nationalization of the bus transport in Gulbarga and Bidar Districts, the most backward of the State, strengthening and rationalization of bus maintenance facilities and almost the entire gamut of the most difficult aspects of Public Transport management, makes for absorbing reading.

 The Chapter, “Absolute Power” elucidates the ways in which the power that the Chief Minister of the State wields or can wield, could be exercised for the social and economic development of the people of the State. He also shares with the reader the intimate details of the relationship between a Chief Minister and his Secretary that people seldom get to read about. He takes the reader along a fascinating journey through the highs, the lows and the political subtleties and manner in the corridors of power.

His simple but eloquent record of his work as the Agricultural Production Commissioner is bound to make the farmers more Knowledgeable about farming and the educated non farmers understand and appreciate what agriculture means and entails.

While we all have witnessed the rise and growth of Bengaluru from a Pensioners Paradise to a vibrant, global City, the author reveals the hereto unknown details of how, one foreign company started the growth of I.T.Industry and how one policy initiative could change the complexion of a city for ever.

The Chapters on “Mother Cauvery” ,”management of Bangalore City” and “Fundamental Right to Employment” contain a comprehensive analysis of the social, economic and legal aspects of the seemingly unsolvable issues and profound and practical suggestions towards taking them head-on and solving them to the satisfaction of all the people concerned. These deserve wider and continuous debates at the State and National Levels.

 The book is a “must read” not only or the Government Service aspirants but for all who are keen to understand the intricacies of the bureaucratic process, for it explains in clear and elaborate terms, what, Good Government means and how it can be ensured. The book is recommended, without any hesitation or reservation, for professionals in the fields of logistics, human resource development, Information Technology and Marketing. It provides, through case-studies of large-scale enterprises, deeper insights into and solutions to the issues that several organizations face.

As the author has stated that the purpose of this book is to bring to the notice of the public what constitutes good governance.

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