Raju Narayana Swamy is an IAS officer who is known for his strict stance against corruption in Government. He is also known as “Ashok Khemka of Kerala.”
Raju Narayana Swamy was born on Friday, 24 May 1968 (age 51 years; as in 2019) in the Ulloor city of Thiruvananthapuram. His zodiac sign is Gemini. He did his Bachelor’s in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He was awarded doctorate degree from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. He also secured a PhD from Gujarat National Law University. He holds a Diploma in Cyber Law (from Government Law College, Mumbai), a PG Diploma in environmental law, and two PG Diplomas each from the National Law University, Delhi and the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Family, Caste & Wife
He belongs to a Brahmin Family. His father was a professor of Mathematics and his mother was also a professor. He got married in 1995 but got divorced due to a fight with his in-laws. However, in one of the interviews, his father-in-law, A Venkatakrishnan, stated that his daughter got remarried to him.
He cleared CSE (Civil Service Examination) in 1991 and became an IAS officer of the Kerela Cadre. He started his career as the Sub-Collector of Alappuzha in 1991. Since then, he has held various posts including District Collector of five districts, Director of Fisheries and of Collegiate Education, Managing Director at MARKETFED, and Commissioner in Civil Supplies Department of Kerala. He also served as the Chairman of Coconut Development Board in Kochi.
He has written 26 books; “Nano Muthal Nakshatram Vare”, being one of his popular science books.
His other works include “Niram Mangiya Vazhithara,” which is a translation of “The Road of Lost Innocence,” the English version of the French memoirs by Somaly Mam.
- Reportedly, in 2019, the state government of Kerela dismissed Raju Narayana Swamy. He was accused of charges like irresponsible and undisciplined behaviour while in central and state services, lack of attendance while serving in some important positions and no government record of his services after completing the term with Coconut Development Board, for which, the state government recommended the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions to dismiss Raju Narayana Swamy who held the position of Additional Chief Secretary.
- In 2017, Raju (the then Principal Secretary of Agriculture) had accused Biju Prabhakar (the then Director of Agriculture) of bringing an Israeli agricultural expert team to Kerala without seeking government permission and had also called Biju to ask for an explanation as to why the wife of the Industries Minister’s private secretary was given a posting in the Horticulture Department. The things took an ugly turn when Raju accused him of being a ‘fake IAS officer.’ Eventually, they both were dismissed from their posts.
- In 2014, few IAS officers in Kerela rebelled against Chief Secretary, E.K. Bharat Bhushan, after Raju Narayana Swamy (the then secretary of Printing and Stationery) filed a complaint against Chief Secretary before the IAS association alleging that Bushan victimised him when Swamy turned down a telephonic request of Bhushan in 2007. Raju even claimed that Bhushan had overruled the orders of the chief minister regarding the expunging of adverse remarks by Chief Minister in his Annual Performance Report (PAR) and alleged that Bhushan had given a false certificate of working when he was on unauthorized absence during elections from election observer duty.
Awards & Honours
- Homi Bhabha Fellowship (in Information Technology and cyber laws) in 2013
- Kerala State Institute of Children’s Literature Award in 2013
- Kerala Sahitya Academy for travelogue for the book “Santhimantram Muzhangunna Thazvarayil” in 2003
- IRDS Awards (awarded by the Lucknow-based Institute for Research and Documentation in Social Sciences (IRDS)) in 2011
- Bhima Gold Medal for Children’s Literature
- Kunhunni Award for Children’s Literature
- Subjects: Science, Mathematics
- He likes reading and writing.
- His parents, who were both professors, played a key role in shaping up his career.
- He secured the first rank in Class 10 examinations (1983) and pre-degree examination (MGU-1985). He attained AIR 10 in IIT Joint Entrance Examination for admissions into the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology.
- He even obtained the first rank in Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) (1990 – in terms of percentile) conducted for admission to postgraduate engineering courses in India. Thereafter, he secured the first rank in the Civil Services Examination and entered the Indian Administrative Service.
- Swamy received a scholarship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA after he passed out from IIT Chennai.
- In his district, it was a practice to collect crores of rupees for earthen bunds meant for the poor farmers. Raju did not pass the bill and waited to see whether the bund would outlast till rainy season. Due to the poor construction, the bund vanished in the rains, after which, he refused to pass the bill, which saved Rs. 8 crores of public money.
- During his investigations, he inquired an illegal land deal, which involved the son and daughter of the then Public Works Department Minister (PWD), T. U. Kuruvilla, who had to resign from his post because of the issue. It was the first time in the history of the country that the minister had to resign on the report of an IAS officer. He also investigated against the former minister P. J. Joseph and his relatives regarding their illegal landholdings. Due to such activities, he was forced to go on leave by the government
- He didn’t even let his Father-in-Law off, who was a contractor. His Father-in-Law, A Venkatakrishnan, wanted to block a public road leading towards a poor neighbourhood of Schedules Caste to wall-up a land for himself. He requested Venkatakrishnan to not to misuse his power as a local sub-collector but his father in law didn’t listen. Eventually, Raju had to invoke the Criminal Procedure Code, serve orders on him, call out the police, and carried out the demolition. This even led to a divorce with his wife.
- He took a break from the Civil Services and went to Paris to take up the assignments of the United Nations. After the left government under V. S. Achuthanandan came into power, he was called back to service as the Collector of the Kottayam District.
- He underwent IAS training in prestigious institutions both in India and abroad. He has published more than 150 research papers in national and international journals.
- In 22 years of his career, he has been transferred 20 times
- Citing his dismissal for the allegation by the state government for his absence from work and undisciplined acts in June 2019, he said,
It’s very sad that I have been given this kind of a reward for fighting corruption. I am facing you with a lot of pain.”
- He has been without a post, ever since, he was suspended in March 2019, from the post of Chairman of Coconut Development Board in Kochi, where he claimed to have detected multiple corruption which involved misappropriation of the funds and even suspended two officials.
- Raju says that he doesn’t have children, that is why he writes books for children.
- He also gave a speech for the TEDx Talk in IIT, Delhi.