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Ascent

Author Name: K.S. Ramachandran | Format: Paperback | Genre : Biographies & Autobiographies | Other Details
Amazon Sales Rank: Ranked #37 in Criminology

In September 1948, K. S. Ramachandran was on a train to Madras, anxious about his uncertain future. After securing a BSc. Honours degree in Physics, he had obtained a first-class certificate in wireless technology in Mumbai with the intention of pursuing a science-based career. But when his instructor refused to give him a letter of recommendation, he knew he could not become an aircraft navigator.

At his father’s behest, Ramachandran wrote the competitive exam for the Indian Administrative Service. Which is how, just one year after his despondent return, Ramachandran found himself among 30 finalists chosen from an applicant pool of over 7,000 – for one of the country’s most elite cadres.

Ramachandran was assigned to Odisha, then among the most backward states in the country. In Ascent, Ramachandran chronicles not just his personal evolution in the IAS but unfolds the parallel transformation of the state over the course of his career. With his grasp of technical detail, a grandmaster’s instinct for stratagem, and his ability to find humor in difficult situations, Ramachandran tirelessly sought and often secured successful outcomes.

Corruption and political meddling are an inescapable part of public administration. Ramachandran was framed in a conspiracy case which mired him in 10 years of litigation. He refused to yield a nanometer of his principles. Finally exonerated, he went on to establish and head NALCO, one of India’s pre-eminent public sector companies.

 

Ascent is a triumphant affirmation of the timelessness of integrity and hard work. In a time of cynicism, this book inspires one to believe that values lend us the wings to rise to any occasion.

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K.S. Ramachandran

Born in Chennai, India in 1927, K.S. Ramachandran served in the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) for 34 years. The legacy he built over that time is a testament to his remarkable ideals and spirit – given the challenges and political victimization that he faced.

Ramachandran set up Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and National Aluminium Company (NALCO), both leaders in their field that have garnered enormous profits over the decades. He contributed significantly to developing state infrastructure, notably Paradeep Port, Talcher thermal power plant, Salandi and Balimela hydel projects, and the Banspani-Jakhhpura and Koraput-Rayaghada railway lines. He drafted the first National Mineral Policy and set up the Mineral Development Board, a resource think-tank.

After Ramachandran left the IAS in 1984, he continued to work on industrial development as Consultant to four international companies. He is a perennial wellspring of project ideas. In 2016, he finally withdrew from professional engagement, moving to a retirement community with his wife.

 

A keen sports enthusiast, Ramachandran played cricket, hockey and billiards in his youth, and is presently an avid Sudoku enthusiast. He is a self-taught Carnatic music vocalist with an encyclopedic repertoire. A native Tamil speaker educated through the English medium, Ramachandran also is fluent in Sanskrit, Odiya and Hindi.

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