SENIOR HARYANA IAS officer and Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, Rajesh Khullar, has been appointed executive director of the World Bank in Washington DC for three years.
As executive director, Khullar will represent India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka in the World Bank. The World Bank Group comprises 25 executive directors who each represent a country, or constituency of countries, are either appointed or elected to the position.
“The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Rajesh Khullar…for a tenure of three years from the date of assumption of charge…or till the date of his superannuation (August 23, 2023) or until further orders, whichever is the earliest,” said an official communication issued by Srinivas R Katikithala, secretary ACC and establishment officer, on Monday.
A 1988 batch IAS officer, Khullar has been principal secretary to the CM for almost five years. Meanwhile, Haryana Chief Secretary Keshni Anand Arora is also retiring on September 30. With these developments, the state is likely to witness important changes at the top level of state administration in the near future.
Khullar graduated from Panjab University with a Master’s degree in physics in 1984. He also holds a Master of Public Administration from The National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Tokyo, Japan.
Khullar has held several important positions in both central and Haryana governments like joint secretary, department of economic affairs, Union Ministry of Finance. At one point of time during the current regime, he held the assignment of Haryana Home Secretary too. He has previously been municipal commissioner (Gurgaon and Faridabad) and deputy commissioner (Sonipat and Rohtak).
In Haryana, according to a press release, Khullar designed schemes to check amniocentesis and female foeticide, promote immunization and education of young girls, and fight early marriages of girls by introducing a programme ‘Apni Beti, Apna Dhan’.
The release further mentions that Khullar involved government primary school teachers in writing new textbooks, inspired farmers to conserve water by not growing paddy and “helped make the cities of Gurgaon and Faridabad stray cattle-free”. As Gurgaon municipal commissioner, Khullar took steps towards forging a partnership with civil society and emphasized the use of e-governance tools. He set up the Kamdhenudham and Nandhidham cow sheds in Carterpuri and developed Aravalli Biodiversity Park, Gurgaon, over 250 acres of land whilst safeguarding it from encroachers and the land mafia.
In 2009, he received an ‘Award of Excellence’ under Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) from the central government “for designing and implementing India’s first comprehensive social safety umbrella that included insurance, saving accounts, public conveniences and night shelters”.
Khullar was appointed joint secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance in February 2011. While holding this post, the press release mentions, Khullar designed the structure of India’s infrastructure debt funds and oversaw key bilateral agreements. “In June 2013, he signed an umbrella agreement with Cord Meier-Klodt, the then German Ambassador to India on financial and technical cooperation in the fields of energy, environment and management of natural resources worth $723 million. In February 2014, Khullar was responsible for a JP¥ 1,495 million investment by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the Hospital for Children in Chennai. In March 2014, he led the Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan agreement between India and Japan for five Indian cities worth more than JP¥ 250 billion that included the expansion of Delhi Metro and projects related to wind and solar energy,” said the press release quoting the Japanese embassy mentioning that “it was the largest amount ever signed at a single signing occasion in the history of Japanese ODA”.
Khullar is also the author of Viral Match, ‘India’s first medical thriller on HIV’. The book was launched by the Indian cricket team in 2007 during the Bangalore Test match between Pakistan and India.
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