Efficiency could well be the middle name of Anil Swarup who has set an astonishing clearance track record. In June 2013, five months after the Manmohan Singh Government notified the constitution of the Cabinet Committee on Investments (CCI), the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) was created to fast-track projects worth Rs 1,000 crore or more. In no time, Swarup, former additional secretary of CCI, emerged as a champion in his role as head of PMG. During his 15-month stint, the body facilitated clearances of 180 projects that entailed an investment of about Rs 6.5 lakh crore. What´s more, in an expanded role, PMG now follows up on timelines set for ministries and states; trains state officials to handle projects ranging from Rs 100 crore to Rs 1,000 crore; and, most recently, has been aiming to get maximum clearances processed via an e-biz portal - 56-year-old Swarup actioned each of these responsibilities successfully. His next mission was to bring in single-window clearances by early next year. However, following a recent announcement by the Government of India, he has now been appointed as officer on special duty in the Ministry of Coal; Swarup took over as Secretary on November 1, 2014.
With a master´s degree in political science from Allahabad University, Swarup was awarded the Best Officer Award at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration among the officers of the 1981 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) - a most appropriate start to a dynamic career. Subsequently, his outstanding work in Uttar Pradesh in 1990 won him several accolades. Prior to PMG, his past assignments in various ministries reflect his in-depth knowledge and experience in visualising, conceptualising, articulating and implementing various schemes. Swarup served as director-general, labour welfare in the Ministry of Labour and Employment and was engaged in policies targeting welfare of workers in the unorganised sector, including the implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme, RSBY. The scheme is among the biggest public-private sector partnership models in the social sector, providing health insurance cover to around 150 million people across India. Recognised internationally, it was selected by UNDP/ILO as one of the top social security schemes in the world. Evidently, Swarup is the ace player for India´s new development plans! From his role of removing road blocks to stalled projects across the country, his new role in the coal ministry comes at a time when the sector is log-jammed. A challenging task to be sure, but then this strategic thinker and innovative leader has proved his competence time and again. As CONSTRUCTION WORLD honours him for his efforts and stewardship in the former year, we wish him all the best for the year to come.