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A Learner First And an Officer Later

Becoming an IAS officer might have been a smooth affair for Mr Himanshu Kaushik, but his real ``on field’’ learning- and consequent rewards too- came only after he realised that a civil servant is much more than a glorified `babu’.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Clearing UPSC in the very first attempt might have seemed easy for Mr. Himanshu Kaushik, on hindsight, but there was much more to it. The real challenges, and his remarkable resilience in overcoming these, came after he became an IAS officer.

 Coming from a middle-class family, he had already landed into a well-paying cushy job in a private sector- and there was no need to spoil the journey. But then, Mr Kaushik realised that his hear lay in serving the people and the nation.

In an exclusive interview with Indian Masterminds, he spoke about his achievements during his current posting and his vision as a bureaucrat.

FIRST ON-FIELD EXPERIENCE

After completing the foundation course at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mr. Kaushik was allotted the Andhra Pradesh cadre. He got his first posting as Assistant Collector under training in the West Godavari district. After the training period, he got his first individual posting at Amalapuram on 17 August 2020.

First individual posting

At around this time, Andhra Pradesh was facing heavy floods and many parts of the state were getting severally impacted. Recounting his first experience in the field, Mr. Kaushik said “As the state was facing the worst floods in 15 years, I had to join in at the flood duty. The very first day when I reported to my Collector, he himself was in a boat, conducting a rescue operation. That day I realized that this job is not about what people say as a proper ‘babu posting’ but it is a very dynamic job.”

Mr. Himanshu Kaushik on flood duty

“For the initial one month, I studied a lot about flood management and disaster management and we did a pretty decent job”, he added.

WINNING BEST DIVISION AWARD

The hardworking nature of Mr. Kaushik was not only limited to clearing the UPSC examination but has been visible during his stint as an IAS officer. Apart from working during the flood situation, Mr. Kaushik has also won an award as the ‘Best Performing Division’ in the district in service delivery.

He said, “After working during the flood situation, my focus shifted towards service delivery as this is the best way to win the trust of the people. According to the ongoing system, basic facilities are being managed improperly. Things like applying for a birth certificate, driving license, etc. require a lot of time and effort to finally receive it. We focused on providing various services and deliver them on time. With the efforts of the whole department, we managed to bag the Best Performing Division award for delivering services in a record time.”

The team winning the ‘Best Division Award’

“This is the area I want to focus on as to change the perspective of people towards their elected government. By improving service delivery, the government will surely win the trust of the people, and things are likely to run smoothly after that,” he added.

ANOTHER ACHIEVEMENT

During Mr Kaushik tenure, when a 62-year-old chariot on the premises of famous Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple, at Antarvedi in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district caught fire and was incinterated, it kind of became a nation issue and a moment of unrest for some religious groups. But his apt handling of the situation prevented any major flare-up.

Speaking about this incident, Mr. Kaushik said, “The chariot, made out of teakwood, got burnt in my jurisdiction and it became a national issue. I had to use section 144 of CrPC to maintain law and order. A committee was set up under my chairmanship to reconstruct the chariot. We completed it in a mere 3 months’ time and the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh inaugurated it in February. Followed by Antharvedi festival which saw a crowd of 3 lakhs, this has become a major achievement for Amalapuram division, apart from service delivery.”

Looking into land acquisition of major government projects

With several successes under his belt, Mr. Kaushik is now moving towards his next target- which is the land acquisition of major government projects like national highways and railway lines in the Amalapuram division.


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