The first of the officers I wish to talk about is Mr. Amit Singh Negi. It was on 23 Sep that I met him at his office. The interaction was hardly for a minute as I was participating in one of the initial meetings on housing policy and related strategy of the government. He had not spoken much at that time. And there was nothing called a "first impression" that he made on me. But it was after that we started interacting on few issues relating to reconstruction of schools and ICDS centers which were technically not within his realm much. On 14 Oct for the first time he called me and wanted to help plan an NGO-Corporate meeting on Housing Reconstruction. That brought me closer to him. So, what I observed were a lot purely from professional point of view than a very personal observation.
He arrived every morning between 10.00 am and 10.30 am and remained till well beyond 8.00 pm at night. He had his own ways of sharing responsibility. Officers and staff, I found, had problem in talking to him of any differences of opinion or sharing their own views. He was extremely controlled with his emotions even when things were not going okay. Under extreme pressure, he still kept cool. He knew whom to approach to support him for what purpose. He picked up any phone, and if he were in a meeting, he would call back later. He had extreme sense of respect for human beings. Oh, yes, this is one Principal Secretary into whose room most people can just walk in! That is amazing! There was very little of the problem of access to him, unless he was in a very important meeting which happened rarely. Inside his own office he had set up two small work stations where officers can sit, discuss, plan, do informal/formal meetings, take decisions, all in a very transparent manner.
I just fell in admiration for this person. He is just a rare gem in the cloud of many many Indian Administrative Service Officers who just stand out tall and unique.