Raghav Chandra

I.A.S 1982 batch


Civil servant, author, writer and wild life lover

Recruited into the prestigious Indian Administrative Service through a national competition in 1982, Raghav Chandra is a career civil servant who has an interest in writing about environment, economic and public administration issues. He has Masters Degrees in Mathematics and Public Administration from Delhi University and Harvard respectively. He has recently authored SCENT OF A GAME, a mystery-drama that vividly unravels the larger issues of tiger poaching/management/conservation and the need to seek redemption by protecting animal life.

As a civil servant he has worked both in the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh and for the Government of the Union of India, in a diverse range of areas—law and justice enforcement, tribal development, industrial/housing/urban/infrastructure/cultural development and financial administration/management.

After his schooling in the historic precincts of the Anglo-French La Martiniere in Lucknow, which was affiliated to the Cambridge University Examination Syndicate, he joined another reputed institution, St Stephens College,a highly coveted constituent of the Delhi University. While excelling in Mathematics he was also a member of the Students Council and was the Secretary of the Maths Society. He received the coveted National Science Talent Scholar ship for five years. As a resident of the College he participated in many social activities and also won Ground colors for Squash racquets.

He joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1982 and was posted as Assistant Collector in Satna and Sub-Divisional Magistrate in Ashoknagar near the Shivpuri National Park, and Sihora midway between Kanha and Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserves. Later he was Additional Collector at Korba near the Achanakmar Sanctuary where he was exposed to the conflict and interface between the development needs of the tribal communities on the one hand and the aspirations of the burgeoning mining/public sector/industrial sectors. He worked rigorously for the welfare of tribes and organized a massive health and family welfare camp that won him a commendation from the Chief Minister. He also initiated the first serious dialogue with the constituent industries to alleviate the pollution that had earned Korba the sobriquet of the “ash-chamber of Madhya Pradesh.” His ability to coordinate the economic and social development of Korba, managing its environment and the various law-and-order problems it confronted, won him huge acclaim.

He has been Collector and District Magistrate of Khandwa and Jabalpur districts, before they were bifurcated to allow formation of Burhanpur and Katni districts. He is remembered as a proactive administrator who encouraged various innovations to flourish while keeping a tight hold over governance matters and encouraging many cultural activities to take place. In 1992 he joined the Government of India in the Department of Commerce where he handled responsibilities across most important Divisions including TPD dealing with WTO matters.

Later, in 1997, he got admission to the Harvard University, USAand was the only Indian that year to be awarded the Joint Japan-World Bank merit Scholarship. In Harvard he was an Edward Mason Fellow of the Institute of International Development and he divided his time between the John F Kennedy School and the Harvard Business School, securing a Masters in Public Administration in 1998.

He returned to India in 1998 and was appointed the Managing Director of the Civil Supplies Corporation. Decentralized procurement of wheat was undertaken for the first time; this became the template for the entire country later. He has done stellar work as the Commissioner/CEO of the MP Housing Board, planning new urban infrastructure and colonies deploying modern layouts and designs from creative architects and designers. He founded and established the MP Road Development Corporation which today is one of the most successful road agencies in the country. As Managing Director of the MP Industries Development Corporation he was instrumental in bringing in large investments into MP such as the textile cluster in Budhni, the Bina Refinery, the Pithampur Auto Cluster, the Auto-Testing Track facility, and kick-starting the Destination Madhya Pradesh investment summits which have proved to be hugely successful in transforming the industrial profile of an hitherto agrarian MP. Later, as Principal Secretary Urban Development, he was responsible for establishing a program for the comprehensive up-gradation of critical urban infrastructure in all cities of MP, ensuring futuristic planning for water/sewerage/roads for the major cities of MP and for initiating planning of Metro projects for Bhopal and Indore, and preparation of comprehensive City Development Plans for all large and small municipal bodies in MP that will be the blue-prints for their future development. A boost was given to comprehensive e-governance in city-management. Digital submission and clearance of building permissions, vehicle tracking systems and availability of citizen-documents being some of the many achievements.

Later, as Joint Secretary Highways, in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, he orchestrated the Project preparation, PPAC/Cabinet approval and award of national highway road projects of a stupendous 8000 Km, the highest ever level of projects to be signed in a single year.

As Additional Secretary & Financial Advisor for the Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperation, Animal Husbandry/Dairying/Fisheries and the Department of Culture he has contributed by motivating and guiding judicious spending while ensuring that all development activities are able to be backed with suitable funds.

Apart from the Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard, he has done Executive Management courses from Columbia University, USA, the Judge Business School, Cambridge, UK , the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, the IIMs of Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

In the past, he has been published in several reputed social and economic journals. He has earlier conceptualized the creation of the social media website: scratchmysoul.com. He has written a Case Study for the Cambridge University on the Indian Highways Sector. He plays badminton and golf and swims occasionally. His other interests are wildlife, cinema and reading.SCENT OF A GAME,has recently been published by Rupa.


  • International Marketing and Service Management. Awarded Global Merit Scholarship by World Bank/Japan. Edward S Mason Fellow, HIID.
  • .Awarded National Science Talent Merit Scholarship for the period 1975-1980.


S.N Designation Department
1 Secretary National Commission for Scheduled Tribes
2 Chairman National Highways Authority of India
3 Additional Secretary & FA Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperation/ADF and Culture, Govt. of India
4 Joint Secretary Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Govt. of India
5 Principal Secretary Department of Urban Development Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
6 Principal Secretary Department of Technical Education, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
7 PS & Commissioner Department of Revenue , Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
8 Commissioner Department of Tribal Development, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh
9 Managing Director MP State Industrial Development Corporation, Mp Road Development Corporation
Chairman SEZ Indore, Chairman PACL,Chairman AKVNs
10 Commissioner/CEO MP Housing Board, Bhopal
11 Managing Director MP State Civil Supplies Corporation, Bhopal
12 Director and earlier Deputy Secretary Commerce Ministry, Govt. Of India
13 District Magistrate Jabalpur, Khandwa


  • Member of Indian delegation to Annual Sessions of' UN-ESCAP,Bangkok: 1993,1994,1995,1996.
  • Member of Indian Delegation for bilateral trade talks with Qatar and UAE, 1993.
  • Member of Governing Body Meeting of' the the-Asia-Pacific Center for Transfer of technology, Consultative member on Science and Technology- matters, 1994,1995.
  • Represented India at the ESCAP/UNCTAD Seminar on Prospects for the Asia and the Pacific Region in the year 2000 in Beijing, 1994.
  • Represented India at Symposium on trade in the floriculture sector at Bangkok, 1992, for ESCAP Countries,
  • Represented India at Symposium on Intellectual Property Rights - Singapore 1992.
  • Represented India at Steering Committee Meeting of the Committee of Regional Economic Cooperation of'UN-ESCAP at Kathmandu, 1994.
  • Attended ESCAP, CITYNET Conference at Bombay 1994.
  • Attended ESCAP/WASME Seminar on Food Processing Industries, New Delhi, 1995.
  • Attended International Development Institute & FNS Seminar on the impact of the Uruguay Round on Small Scale Industries, New Delhi, 1995.
  • Attended ESCAP Meeting of Consultancy Development Centre for TCDPAP,New Delhi,1994-96
  • Represented India to participate in sixth Meeting of the Steering Group of the ESCAP Committee for Regional Economic Cooperation at Jakarta, 1995, and to the SG Meeting at UlaanBaatar, 1996
  • Represented India in trade talks with Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Japan, EU, Myanmar, Australia and several other trade related discussions.
  • Participated as UN-ESCAP panelist in Japan/ESCAP workshop on “ Fostering Trade and Investment with Myanmar, 1996"
  • Led Indian Delegation to participate in “Softworld 1996” at Halifax, Canada, 1996 and Ontario Showcase at Toronto, Canada.
  • Participated in UNDP-HIID Workshop on Poverty and Governance, 1997, Harvard University, USA
  • Participated in HUDCO/IHS Seminar on Infrastructure for Urban Development in Australia & Thailand, 2001
  • Participated in HUDCO/IHS Seminar on Financing for Infrastructure in Rotterdam and Egypt, 2002
  • Attended UN-ESCAP Regional Conference of Kitakyushu Initiative in Japan on Solid Waste Management, 2002
  • Participated in tour of developing South-East Asian economies of Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia
  • Attended ADB sponsored tour of China, 2004
  • Part of Chief Minister’s Delegation for Investment Promotion to Europe and the USA, 2005
  • Attended CII conference on Environment in Montreal, Canada in 2006
  • Represented Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in London City Conference on Indian Economic Development, 2010
  • Represented India in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Conference on Emerging India in Paris, 2011
  • Part of Minister Road Transport and Highways delegation to Rome to attend Indo-Italian Ministerial discussions, 2011
  • Part of Minister Road Transport and Highways delegation to Spain and France for Ministerial level discussions, 2011
  • Part of Minister Road Transport and Highways delegation to Japan to study development of Expressways, 2012
  • Attended Food and Agriculture Organization Annual Session in Rome, 2013