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Former bureaucrat and Vajpayee aide, Shakti Sinha dies at 64

Shakti Sinha, a former IAS officer and personal secretary of late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, passed away on Monday. The 64-year-old was Honorary Director at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Policy Research and International Studies at MS University in Vadodara and was also involved in the establishment of the Delhi School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Delhi. He previously served as the director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library for three years.

Sources close to Sinha’s family said that he died of cardiac arrest while he was sleeping. “He was talking to his family till 2 am. When he did not wake up till 11 am, the family members tried to wake him up and found that he was no more.’

BJP Leader Ram Madhav tweeted, “Shocked to hear about the passing away of Shakti Sinha. He was a member of the Governing Board of India Foundation and was scheduled to address an ongoing conference in Leh this afternoon. one in Facebook Post, Madhav said, “Shakti had returned from Russia last week and had some health issues, but not really serious enough to take her life.”

“Life is so fragile! Met Shakti Sinha ji only yesterday and had a long and prosperous conversation…” Ajay SinghPress Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind.

A 1979-batch IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre, Sinha opted for voluntary retirement in 2013, when he was serving as the Finance Secretary in the Sheila Dikshit-led Delhi government. He previously served as the personal secretary to Atal Bihari Vajpayee between 1996 and 1999 and later became his OSD when Vajpayee became the Prime Minister. He has recently written a book on former PM – Vajpayee: The Years That Changed India.

During his tenure at NMML between 2016 and 2019, Sinha oversaw the PMO’s flagship project – the Prime Ministers’ Rs 270-crore museum. Even as his selection faced strong resistance from the NMML executive council, one of its members, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, resigned in protest, saying that the terms and conditions of the director’s office had to be adjusted to accommodate him. was modified for, the center had put its foot down.

After the end of his tenure at NMML in 2019, Sinha had become a bit reclusive, focusing mostly on academics and not meeting many visitors. weeks before his death, he had told Naveen Bharat, “I am happy not to be bound by any time limit and not to report to anyone; I have so many books to read and write right now.”

Between 2010 and 2012, Sinha served as the Chief Secretary of Andaman and Nicobar.


Along with an MA in History of Modern India and China from the University of Delhi, Sinha also took a mid-career course in International Commerce and Trade from George Mason University and was known as an expert on Afghanistan.

While serving in government, Sinha took time out to work with think tanks in India and Singapore, where he analyzed topics such as how badly designed state structures and distorted policies lead to conflict. and why economic policies do not work in the absence of supportive governance. Ecosystem He also took leave to work for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (April 2006–December 2008). For a brief period, he also served as Strategic Policy Advisor with UNDP, Afghanistan.

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