Govind Narain, one of the last surviving ICS officers and who was the Home Secretary during Bangladesh war, passed away in his south Delhi residence, his family said today.
95-year-old Narain, a Padma Vibhushan awardee, breathed his last at his residence in Chattarpur last night due to old age. He had refused to be admitted in a hospital and died peacefully at home, the family said.
His mortal remains were performed at the Lodhi crematorium. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was present at the cremation, also attended by several bureaucrats.
Born on May 5, 1916 in UP's Mainpuri, Oxford-educated Narain joined the ICS in 1939 and went on to become country's Home Secretary and Defence Secretary.
Narain, who worked under Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi, was the Home Secretary from 1971 to 1973 and was one of the top officers instrumental in planning the Bangladesh war and setting up of Mukti Bahini.
In 1973, he was moved to the Defence Ministry as the Defence Secretary, a post from which he retired two years later. He was appointed the Karnataka governor in 1977 and was in the Raj Bhavan till 1983.
A post-graduate in science from Allahabad University, he is also credited for the setting up of the defence production establishment and a tie up with Russia in this regard. In 1968, he was appointed the Secretary, Defence Production.
In the early days of his career, Narain was tasked by Nehru to build ties with Nepal and he was adviser to the Nepal King between 1951 and 1954.
He is survived by his two daughters. One of his sons-in-law Yogesh Chandra retired as a senior civil servant in the rank of cabinet secretary to the government of India while his grand son Vikram Chandra is a well-known TV journalist.
Narain had served as Home Secretary in UP government from 1948 to 1951 and later was the Chief Secretary of the state for three years from 1958. In UP, he also served as the Secretary and Development Commissioner during the period 1954-58.
He was made Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the State Trading Corporation of India and Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India between 1961 and 1966.
In between, he also served as Central Government Liaison Officer in Kolkata with West Bengal government and Army Command in 1964. The next year, he was appointed advisor to Governor of Kerala.
He also had his stints in Health and Planning Ministries.
Post retirement, he was also associated with Pubic Interest Legal Support and Research Trust, Shankara Vidya Kendra, Federation of Indo-German Society in India and an NGO 'Common Cause'.
His essays have appeared in books like Old Mandarins of India and The Governor - Sage or Saboteur. He also published articles on national security.