Shri Bharat Lal Director General, NCGG
Mr. Bharat Lal, born in 1962 is a Gold Medalist in graduate examination of University of Allahabad, completed post-graduation in Biochemistry followed by research work at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. He was selected for Commonwealth fellowship to carry out research work in the United Kingdom. He also received Junior Research Fellowship from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). He also qualified UGC-CSIR NET examination and received Senior Research Fellowship from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India.
He joined Civil Service in July, 1988 and received training at LBSNAA, Mussoorie and IGNFA, Dehradun. Later on, he also received trainings at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bengaluru; Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun; Development & Project Planning Centre (DPCC), University of Bradford, UK: University of Connecticut, USA; University of British Columbia, Canada; University of Chicago – Booth School of Business, USA; etc. He also obtained master degree from Forest Research Institute (FRI) and worked both in Gujarat and with the Union government.
In September, 2022, he was appointed Director General, National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG), an autonomous apex institution of Government of India, which works on good governance, reforms, capacity building and training of civil servants of India and other developing countries. NCGG also works as a think tank. Prior to joining NCGG, since January, 2022 he was working as Secretary, Lokpal of India, the anti-corruption body of the country. Prior to this, he worked as founder Mission Director of ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, a flagship programme started in August, 2019 to ensure clean tap water to every household and public institutions of the country, by 2024.
Since very early in his career, he started working on water conservation, eco-restoration of degraded lands and poverty elimination. In 1992, he planned and executed eco-restoration of Girnar forest in Junagadh, which used to have Asiatic Lions till 1963. With the work, Asiatic Lions returned to Girnar in 1993 and now there is a thriving population of more than 60 lions. In 1997, work done in Girnar, became the basis for the JICA funded trend-setting Gujarat Integrated Forestry Development Project. This approach brought a change in the management of forest and wildlife in the country with primacy to soil and moisture conservation, and recognition of forests as a critical source of water and fodder.
For a very long period, he has worked in drinking water and sanitation sector, both at Government of India and in the state of Gujarat. He was involved in ‘sector reforms’ in water and sanitation sector started in 1999 by the Union Government. He played a pivotal role in formulating, planning and implementing decentralized, demand-driven and community-managed water supply, sanitation and water resource management programmes for ensuring water security in the country.
Post-earthquake in Gujarat, he had set-up Water and Sanitation Management Organization (WASMO) in 2002 to facilitate potable tap water to every household and improved sanitation. This work became an example, which has been acknowledged by conferring Prime Minister’s Civil Services Award, Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management (CAPAM) Award and United Nation’s Public Service Award to WASMO. In a drought-prone and desert State like Gujarat, availability of drinking water is no more an issue. After the devastating earthquake of Gujarat on January 26, 2001, he was involved in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of earthquake-affected areas of Gujarat.
Inspired by the successful policy and its implementation to achieve water security in Gujarat, Prime Minister shri Narendra Modi in 2019 launched Rs. 3. 60 Lakh Crore (51 Billion USD) programme, namely, Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) to make provision of potable tap water supply to every rural household in adequate quantity of prescribed quality on regular and long-term basis. The idea is to not allow paucity of water to become a limiting factor in the socio-economic development of the country and its quest for high economic growth to eliminate poverty. Focus is on empowerment of village local self-governments to function as public utilities, wherein women have a major role.
Earlier, he worked with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India and was involved in the enactment of Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and framing of rules for its implementation. He was also involved in setting up of Eklavya Model Residential Schools (EMRS) for imparting quality education to Scheduled Tribe (ST) children in the country. While working with the Ministry of Tribal affairs, in 2006, he was also involved in the conceptualization of Chiranjeevi Yojana (involvement of private doctors in institutional delivery), which was implemented by the Government of Gujarat. The success of this programme brought a paradigm shift in the healthcare sector and this concept was universalized in the country under National Rural Health Mission, which brought profound impact on IMR and MMR in the country. In this period, he also conceptualized Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana (Plan for the welfare of Forest Dwellers) to fast track the creation of infrastructure and basic services to Scheduled Tribes.
Prior to Jal Jeevan Mission, during 2017–2019, he worked as Additional Secretary to the then President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind. During 2010–2017, as Principal Resident Commissioner of Gujarat, he promoted and facilitated investment in Gujarat as well as state’s worldwide diplomatic outreach. Mr. Bharat Lal is known for ‘out of box’ thinking and finding solutions to solve complex problems. He has vast experience of policy making at the highest level, both on national and international issues.
He has the privilege of working with Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi since 2001, when he became Chief Minister of Gujarat. Since March 2020, he also worked in the core team formed by the Government of India to manage Covid–19 pandemic caused by Corona virus in the country.