B. V. R. Subrahmanyam is an Indian retired IAS officer of the 1987 batch of the Chhattisgarh cadre. In 2018, he was appointed as the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. In 2023, he was appointed as the CEO of the Niti Aayog.
B. V. R. Subrahmanyam was born in 1961 (age 61 years; as of 2022) in Andhra Pradesh. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical from Delhi Technological University in Delhi. Later, he studied management at London Business School in London, England.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Salt & pepper (half-bald)
Eye Colour: Dark brown
There is not much information about his family.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)
B. V. R. Subrahmanyam had served as the director and joint secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). From 2004 to 2008, he served as a private secretary under the former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. From March 2012 to March 2015, he served as a joint secretary under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While working in the PMO, he worked as a senior advisor with the World Bank in Washington DC in June 2008 and September 2011.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Chattisgarh
In 2015, he shifted to Chattisgarh and became the principal secretary. In March 2015, he was appointed as the Additional Chief Secretary (Home). According to sources, Raman Singh, the former Chief Minister of Chattisgarh, personally requested the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for shifting B. V. R. Subrahmanyam to Chattisgarh. He is well-known for his effective handling of issues during the Maoist insurgency in Chhattisgarh and played a vital role in tackling Naxalism in the Maoist-hotbed Bastar by coordinating with central paramilitary forces and state police. He held the additional charge of jail and transport in Chhattisgarh and also made sure that public transport was not operating during attacks against Maoists. He used to be on-field visits for supervising the implementation of policies and checking the work in progress even in high-risk areas rather than giving instructions from his office, which turned out to be effective in countering the Maoists.
BVR Subrahmanyam on a field visit in a high-risk area in Bastar, Chattisgarh along with police and security force officials
In an interview, while talking about the decline in Maoist incidents in Bastar, a Bastar division official said that because of BVR’s active participation, planning, and execution against Maoists played a major role in controlling the insurgency. He said,
In the last three years, there has been a decline in Maoist incidents in Bastar. Unlike in the past, the number of casualties in a single Maoist attack, except the one that occurred in Burkapal, has come down. Subrahmanyam had been at the helm of affairs and had an excellent liaison with security forces. Things could have been worst in this Maoist belt, but his active participation, planning and execution as ACS (Home) helped a lot in containing the insurgency.”
Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir
On 20 June 2018, he began to serve as the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, after the collapse of the PDP-BJP coalition government. In 2019, before the ex-president of India Ram Nath Kovind‘s visit to Jammu and Kashmir to commemorate the victory in the Battle of Tiger Hill during the Kargil War, B. V. R. visited Kargil War Memorial for inspection.
BVR Subrahmanyam visits Kargil War Memorial in Dras before former President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to J&K
After the neutering of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, 2273 infrastructure projects worth Rs 5,979 crores were sanctioned out of which only 506 were completed and the rest had been pending for 5-10 years after the construction was authorized. In a 2020 interview, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam said that the efforts would bring good governance and development to the previous condition of J&K. It would take some time to satisfy the expectations of the people living in J&K. He said,
I think we need patience. We have got the institutional architecture in place and we are moving ahead step by step. Once we get the development process in place, once we get the jobs going, once we see the investment growing, you will find people in a different frame of mind.”
Commerce Secretary to the Government of India
On 30 June 2021, he began to serve as the Commerce Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
CEO of Niti Aayog
On 20 February 2023, the Indian government approved his appointment as the CEO of Niti Aayog.
Called Jammu and Kashmir a ‘broken state’
In 2020, while talking to a group of journalists, he called J&K a ‘broke state’ and said that the governance was in a bad condition, and there was no system, no rules, and decay began a long time ago. He said,
J&K was a ‘broken state’ — the governance was broken badly, there was no system, no rules, and decay began a long time ago. Not a single soul had cried over the detention of political and separatist leaders in August last year, when Centre scrapped J&K’s status.”
After his interview, he was criticised for calling J&K a ‘broken state.’ Later, the leader of the Senior People’s Conference, Imran Ansari, hit Subrahmanyam with a series of tweets in which he said that Subrahmanyam enjoys dismantling the mainstream; he should think about how many people would cry if he gets arrested and told him to focus on his work rather than meddling with politics. He tweeted,
The CS J&K takes pride in dismantling and discrediting the mainstream. Mr CS, you have been here for two years. Wonder, how many people will cry if you are arrested. Hope you focus on your job rather than dabble in politics.”
As the Commerce Secretary, B. V. R. Subrahmanyam was entitled to a monthly salary of Rs 225000 + other allowances (w.e.f. May 2022).
- B. V. R. Subrahmanyam is popularly known as BVR among his friends and in bureaucratic circles.
- He is often termed as a ‘no-nonsense man’ because of his work ethic.
- He is well-known for his expertise in internal security matters.
- When he was working at the PMO, he was considered one of the most trusted men of then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
- On 30 June 2021, he began to serve as the Commerce Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- In September 2022, he began to serve as the chairman and managing director of the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) on a two-year contract basis.
- He began to serve as the CEO of the federal think tank in 2023.
- He is also the chancellor of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
B. V. R. Subrahmanyam at the 55th convocation at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade