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Bangladesh war-era Home Secretary Govind Narain dies

Wednesday, 4 April 2012 - 4:31pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Narain, 95, breathed his last at his residence in Chattarpur in South Delhi last night due to old age.

Govind Narain, one of the last surviving ICS officers and who was the Home Secretary during Bangladesh war, passed away in the capital, his family said today.

Narain, 95, a Padma Vibhushan awardee, breathed his last at his residence in Chattarpur in South Delhi last night due to old age.

He had refused to be admitted in a hospital and died peacefully at home, his family said.

Born on May 5, 1916, Oxford-educated Narain joined the ICS in 1939 and went on to become country's Home Secretary and Defence Secretary.

Narain, who worked under 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 from where he retired two years later.

He was appointed the Karnataka governor in 1977 and was in the Raj Bhavan till 1983.

Narain is also credited for the setting up of the defence establishment and a tie up with Russia in this regard. In 1968, he was appointed Secretary, Defence Production.

In the early days of his career, Nehru had sent him to Nepal as an adviser to the King of Nepal.

He 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 was tasked by Nehru to build ties with Nepal and he was adviser to the Nepal King between 1951 and 1954.

A post-graduate in science from Allahabad University, he also served as Home Secretary of 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 Secretary and Development Commissioner during the period 1954-58.

He was made Chairman-cum-Managing Director of State Trading Corporation of India and Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India between 1961 and 66.

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.

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