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'An IAS officer's must-read anecdotal account of how official karma prevails over personal dharma.' - Y.V. Reddy, former RBI governor India is famous for Jim Corbett's tales of hunting man-eaters in the Kumaon region. Equally fascinating are the tiger hunting tales that senior bureaucrats recount, of achievements real and imagined, when they look back on their career. K. Pradeep Chandra has many stories of this kind to tell, and for those interested in the IAS, they are of immense use. From a career that spanned thirty-four years, there are examples of fighting corruption, ignorance and casteism. There are also problems that defy solution - an old woman whose insistence on division of land results in a tragedy, an attempt to find an acceptable solution to ownership of shifting lanka (island) lands in Rajahmundry. And there is a taut chapter on a prolonged negotiation with naxalites when lives of fellow officers are at stake; a lesson that a course book may not offer. Pradeep Chandra also shares about the challenges of working with powerful politicians like N.T. Rama Rao, Chandrababu Naidu and K. Chandrasekhar Rao. At the beginning of his career, his father had told him, 'If you can make a concrete difference in the lives of 100 poor people, you would have some meaning in your life.' As the author discovered, this was perhaps the hardest thing to accomplish, and what gave his work the truest value.
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About the Author
K. Pradeep Chandra is an IIT-Madras graduate. He also holds an MBA from IIM-Calcutta and a PhD in Public Administration from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. In 1982, he was selected for the Indian Administrative Services and allotted to the Andhra Pradesh cadre. His academic and governance interests are ethics in public administration, access of public services to the common man, and citizen participation in governance. His professional roles include chief rationing officer; director of technical education; managing director of the Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Cooperative Finance Corporation; and special chief secretary in the industries and commerce, finance and revenue departments of the Government of Telangana. The highly acclaimed industrial policy TS-iPASS was prepared under his leadership. It enabled Telangana to be ranked No.1 in the World Bank/Government of India's 'Ease of Doing Business' rankings. He retired as the chief secretary of Telangana on 31 December 2016.