Ex-Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian passes away

Noida: TSR Subramanian, who served as Cabinet Secretary in the United Front government headed by H.D. Deve Gowda in the mid-1990s and was responsible for clearing Bt Cotton as Textiles Secretary, died here on Monday of natural causes. He was 79.

The former bureaucrat, who was ailing for some time, died at his residence here around 3.30 a.m., a close relative said. Subramanian was a 1961-batch officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre. He served as Cabinet Secretary from August 1996 to March 1998.

Earlier, Subramanian was Textiles Secretary at the Centre and was responsible for clearing genetically modified variety of cotton — a decision which a few years ago he regretted.

Subramanian was sent to Uttar Pradesh as Chief Secretary in 1992 in the aftermath of the demolition of Babri Masjid, when emotions were running high in the state.

After his retirement, he headed a Committee to form national education policy which was submitted to the government in 2016 but was not accepted.

The Supreme Court decision which stipulated for a fixed tenure for bureaucrats, was initiated by a petition filed by Subramanian. The order was meant to put an end to frequent transfers of civil servants by politicians.

Subramanian authored three books on Indian polity and administration.

Condoling the demise of Subramanian, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked on the civil servant’s interventions and his distinguished character.

“T.S.R. Subramanian distinguished himself as an outstanding civil servant. He also left a mark with his prolific writings and interventions on important public causes. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” Modi tweeted.

The IAS Association said it was an “extremely” shocking and “sad news”. “He was the tallest amongst all and his demise was a big loss for the IAS fraternity and the nation”, the bureaucratic body tweeted.

Subramanian was part of a group of bureaucrats and diplomats on whose petition the Supreme Court in 2013, had rolled out key civil services reforms. He worked hard to protect the bureaucracy from political interference.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh also condoled his death.