It happens very little when you find someone who leaves the opportunity of an extravagant life abroad, returns to his land, and strives to make it a better space. Or maybe this happens only in movies where Shahrukh Khan returns to his land in the movie Swades. Then comes into the picture – Santosh Misra (IAS, 2000 Batch, Tamil Nadu Cadre) whose life journey can be ealisy considered as the real-life Swades story.
Hailing from Kanpur – city of Ganges and a graduate from IIT Kanpur – one of the best colleges in India that any student can aim for, Santosh Mishra has never settled for anything less than perfect. He went abroad to the USA, where a tremendous career awaited him. He received his master’s degree in engineering from the University of Minnesota and joined Bell Labs. Within a few years, he had become a dazzling star with three patents to his name and many other accomplishments. However, the zeal to do something for his country soon saw him pack his bags for his homeland. After returning to India, he took the most unpredictable and challenging UPSC exam. He aced it, coming second overall in India and securing admission to the reputed Indian Administrative Services in 2000. During his IIT years, he also met his now wife Sonal Misra. An equally qualified personality, she also took the UPSC exam with him and joined the Indian Police Services.
Santosh bagged the Tamil Nadu cadre, where he has excelled in several postings. He has also served on inter-cadre deputation to Chhattisgarh where he was assigned important responsibilities such as Secretary Public Relations, Tourism Culture, Religious Endowments, and Monitoring of a 20-point programme, all of which he handled with exceptional results. But before his return from inter-state deputation to Tamil Nadu, he took a nine-month break in which he studied and completed his course on AI, which was to later aid him in his e-governance work in Tamil Nadu. When Santosh took over as CEO of Tamil Nadu e-Governance Agency as Commissioner of e-Governance, he was responsible for leading key technology initiatives of the government; he and his team came up with an excellent initiative that transformed the way governance happened and took G2C (Government to Citizen) service delivery to the next level.
Santosh and his team have built a state-wide blockchain to implement Predictive Services Delivery to Tamil Nadu’s 80 million inhabitants. It is the world’s most extensive blockchain implementation in any government. Every citizen has their own virtual vault, which electronically saves and sends their birth certificates, death certificates, and everything else on their phones. When a child is born, the programme creates a one-of-a-kind number, and a birth certificate is produced and stored in the vault. After six months, the parents get a reminder through SMS that vaccination is due. At 5, they are reminded to obtain an Aadhaar card and informed about the centres. The certificates are not required to be brought at the time of admission, and the school gets access to the certificates in the vault. It is a fantastic citizen-friendly project, and all credit goes to Mr. Santosh Kumar for establishing it.
The feats of Santosh are well recognized in the nation. He practically brought a ‘Digital Revolution’ in the state of Tamil Nadu and was elemental in completely reshaping the service delivery in the state. Leveraging technologies like AI, blockchain, IoT, he has set new benchmark in public service. Honouring his service and his unique approach towards administration that rides on the back of technology, SpeakIn recently recognized Santosh Misra amongst ‘India’s Distinguished IAS Officers’. He was conferred an award for excellence in Innovation and Technology.
Watch the full video featuring Santosh Misra highlighting his career, his personal life and some of his amazing achievements as a Civil Servant: WATCH HERE