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Special Secretary

Dr K. Rajeswara Rao

Special Secretary, NITI Aayog

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Dr K. Rajeswara Rao is currently Special Secretary, NITI Aayog. He leads the Urban Development (Managing Urbanisation), Health, Nutrition and Women and Child Development, Urban Poverty Alleviation and Skill Development, Labour and Employment verticals, among others.


He is a member of the Indian Administrative Service, Tripura Cadre, 1988 batch. Dr Rao has a PhD in social sciences, an MPhil in national security, masters in sociology, bachelors in basic sciences and a PG diploma in journalism.


Dr Rao’s career spans over 32 years as an administrative and development professional. He has worked with the Union Ministries of Women and Child Development, Food Processing, Railways, Health and Family Welfare, and Mines; as the Chief Vigilance Officer, CONCOR; and with the State Governments of Tripura and Andhra Pradesh, in sectors such as Urban Development, Education, and Social Development.  


As Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Dr Rao chaired the National Committee and drafted the National Mineral Policy. He dealt with the formulation and implementation of various policies and legislations related to mineral development and regulation. He directly supervised the works of the Geological Survey of India (including that of 3500 geoscientists); and handled the responsibilities of Controller General, Indian Bureau of Mines. 


Dr Rao was also the Chief of the National Urban Health Mission and prepared the groundwork/guidelines for the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana between 2014 and 2016.


He has conceptualised and implemented several developmental projects, supported by bilateral and multilateral organisations, such as the ADB-assisted National Urban Health Mission, World Bank/GIZ-assisted environmental projects, DFID-assisted APUSP.


Dr Rao has rich experience not just in development administration but also in organisational and human resource development, finance and community development, and empowerment of self-help groups, among others.