(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Balmiki Prasad Singh (born 1 January 1943) was the 14th Governor of Sikkim, India. He is an author, thinker and a retired IAS officer. He has written number of books and articles relating to Indian culture, in particular the culture of North-East India. Among his prominent books are Bahudha and the post 9/11 World and The problem of change: a study of North East India. He presided over the four-day Global Buddhist Conference in 2011 to mark the 2,600th year of Buddha's enlightenment. Around 1,000 Buddhist scholars, thinkers and followers from over 30 countries were present. B.P. Singh is also the principal architect of the Bahudha Approach, which outlines a path towards a harmonious world, as against the clash of civilizations.
Pluralism could be the closest equivalent to Bahudha in the English language. But Bahudha is more than pluralism. For, the Bahudha approach is both a celebration of diversity and an attitude of mind that respects another person's point of view. Dialogue is central to this approach.
Education and family backgroundEdit
Singh was born on 1 January 1943 in Begusarai, Bihar. He was educated in a village school and later at the universities of Patna and Oxford. He passed his M.A. in political science from University of Patna in 1960, standing First Class First with record marks and also winning several gold medals. At Oxford University, he obtained a Master of Arts degree. He became a lecturer in the Post-Graduate Department of Political Science at Patna University at the age of nineteen.
Singh hails from a family of activists for Indian independence. His father, Harbansh Narayan Singh was an activist who had participated in the Quit India Movement (1942-1944) and courted imprisonment during this period.
Singh was married to Karuna on 10 March 1961 at Patna while they were in their teens. While B.P. Singh hails from a family of activists (not political leaders), the father of Karuna was Rai Bahadur Ganesh Prasad Rai, who retired as Commissioner in the Government of Bihar. Both these families owned agricultural land but have since joined the[which?] services. The two families, however, still have deep roots in their respective villages.
Singh and Karuna have three children: two daughters, Sumita and Preeti and Rajeev, a son and six grandchildren. While Rajeev is a member of the Indian Revenue Service (IT) and currently a Commissioner, his wife Kirti is a housewife. Sumita teaches physics in the Post-graduate Department of the Patna Science College, while her husband, P.N. Rai, IPS, is A.D.G of Police in Bihar. Preeti, a housewife, is married to Rajeev Ranjan, IAS, who is Additional chief secretary in the Government of Tamil Nadu.
Among the six grandchildren, Tanvi Rai is pursuing a Ph.D. in Finance at Wharton Business School in the United States on full fellowship; Aditya Ranjan is a graduate of MIT (on a full scholarship) and is currently attending Stanford Graduate School of Business for his MBA on a full scholarship; Karan Rai is pursuing his studies at Stanford University; and Akhil and Kaustubh are pursuing B.Tech. in VIT and BITS Pilani respectively.
Singh was appointed in 1964 to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).A former IAS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, Singh was posted in North Lakhimpur and Tezpur as a young district officer. He also held the posts of DC, Kamrup from 1973–75 and Home Commissioner, Assam from 1980-82. He had another stint in Assam from 1990-92 before being posted to Union Home Ministry.
Over the past four decades, Shri B.P. Singh has held a variety of important positions within Assam as well as in the Government of India. He was Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment & Forest (1993–95), Culture Secretary (1995–97) and Home Secretary (1997–99) in Government of India.
As an international civil servant, Shri B.P. Singh served as Executive Director and Ambassador at the World Bank during 1999-2002 representing India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and was one of the founder members of the Development Gateway Foundation (DGF) and member, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Washington D.C.
1964 Joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1964. Postings held in the Indian State of Assam during 64-75, Was S.D.O., North-Lakhimpur (1966–68), Joint Secretary appointment (1968–70), Deputy Commissioner, Darrang, Tezpur (1971–72) and Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup, Guwahati (1973–75). Became life Member of the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) New Delhi;
1975-79 Deputy Secretary/Director, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, New Delhi;
1980-82 Secretary for all Departments under the Chief Secretary and also Home Secretary, Government of Assam;
1982-84 Jawaharlal Nehru Fellow. Was also member, Assam Planning Board during this period;
1984-89 Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Steel and Mines, New Delhi. Was also Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Copper Limited for one year;
1989-90 Queen Elizabeth Fellow, Oxford University, U.K;
1990-92 Agricultural Production Commissioner and Special Commissioner and Special Secretary, Government of Assam, Agriculture. Panchayat and Rural Development, Fisheries and Animal Husbandry Department, Dispur, Guwahati. Was awarded Governor of Assam Gold Medal in 1991 for outstanding service in Assam;
1992-93 Joint Secretary and later Additional Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi. Devised regional planning and Development models in tribal areas;
1993-95 Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, Chairman of the National Committee on Bio-diversity Conservation. Asia Representative on Ramar Convention on Wetlands, Gland, Switzerland. Director, Indian School of Forest Management, Bhopal for one year. Life Member of the Society for Promotion of Wasteland Development (SPWD), New Delhi;
1995-97 Union Culture Secretary. Became Life Member of the Indian National Trust for Arts and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) organized global level Golden Jubilee celebrations of India's Independence. Set up National Culture Fund;
1997-99 Union Home Secretary, Secretary, Justice, Government of India and Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Affairs, Government of India. Recipient of Gulzarilal Nanda Award for the year 1998 for outstanding public service in India from the President of India;
1999-02 Executive Director, The World Bank and its Affiliates representing India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. Founder Member of the Board of Governors of Development Gateway Foundation (DGF) and member, Global Environment Facility (GEF), Washington D.C.;
2003-07 A variety of honorary academic and governmental assignments including (i) Chancellor of the Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath (ii) Chief Editor of the South Asia Series on "Perspectives on Economics, Technology and Governnance" Oxford University Press, New York. (iii) Chairman, National Commission for Economically Backward Classes set up by Govt. of India: and (iv) Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow; Was honoured the first Man of Letters Award by the Dalai Lama on 11 June 2003 at New Delhi;
2008-13 Governor of Sikkim; Also President, Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, Gangtok and Chancellor, Sikkim Manipal University;
2014 onwards B.P.Singh worked on a book "The 21st Century:Geo-politics, Democracy and Peace" being published by Routledge (New York & London, during 2017). Also working for promotion of science, culture and world peace.
Public speaker: have been accepting speaking assignments on subjects such as Peace, Democracy, Culture, Security, Ecology and Governance, within India and abroad.
Awards and fellowshipsEdit
He has since been the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship (1982–84), Queen Elizabeth Fellowship (1989–90) and Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow (2007–08). He is also a recipient of Gulzari lal Nanda Award for Outstanding public service from the President of India in 1998 and Man of Letters Award from the Dalai Lama in 2003.
As academician and writerEdit
B.P. Singh has authored six books including The Problem of Change-A Study of North-East India (1987); India’s Culture: The State, the Arts and Beyond (1998) and Bahudha and the post-9/11 World (2008), all published by Oxford University Press, New Delhi. He has also published articles and monographs on politics, culture, ecology and public administration. He is Chief Editor of The Millennium Book on New Delhi, OUP (2001).
B.P. Singh has also been Chancellor of the Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath for six years and Chief Editor of the South Asia Series on "Perspectives on Economics, Technology and Governance" of Oxford University Press, New York (2000–06).
The Challenge of Good Governance in India: Need for Innovative Approaches: Paper presented at the International Conference of Global Network of Innovators, organized by Ash Institute and JFK School of Govt, Harvard University, March- April, 2008.
Would Terrorism become a thing of the past: When and How? Journal of Peace Studies, 2009.
Repositioning A Heritage: Raj Bhavan Gangtok, Information and Public Relations Department, Government of Sikkim, 2011.
Democracy, Ecology, and Culture-the Indian Experience, Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.