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In Quest of a Meaningful: Life Autobiography of a Civil Servant

By Prashanta Kumar Mishra

Life is a continuous journey towards godhood and change is the essence of life. Covering the entire gamut of life from childhood to the present days and passing through the vicissitudes of life with stoic patience and equanimity, Mr Mishra in this book has presented with uncanny clarity, a holistic, principle-centered approach to administration and life.

This is a unique story of a civil servant who, despite being preoccupied with the discharge of onerous responsibilities of critical nature and important assignments, could succeed in striking a balance between personal life, administrative life and spiritual life. The rich administrative and spiritual experiences with anecdotes make it an interesting read and will serve as a guide to the younger generation and budding administrators. The book ends on a spiritually optimistic note. The author says that we have the innate divinity and power to go even beyond the frontiers of the cosmic world.

Born in 1948 and raised in the rural area of Athmallik village in Odisha, Mishra joined the IAS in 1972 (UP Cadre). During his career spanning 41 years, he held several prominent positions both at the Centre and State including the position of Secretary to the GOI, Chief Secretary, UP and Member, Union Public Service Commission.

Known for his reformative approach to administration, he carried out far-reaching reforms in UP Sales-tax Department and National Co-operative Development Corporation (NCDC). He immensely contributed to UPSC Civil Services examination reform. He also presented a number of papers at International/National workshops and seminars and wrote a spiritual book in Hindi, Ek Dristikon.

He was one of the rare officers of the IAS who placed principles of life above the career interest and stood up to unwanted external pressures instead of succumbing to them. He didn’t hesitate even to quit the post of Chief Secretary, UP rather than to carry out any inappropriate order by direction of the Government.

You can buy the book on Sapna and Flipkart