Men And Matters
O P Sharma
Born on November 14,1925 at Laundi (Hiranagar) in the family of Shrada Ram Goswami and Thakri Devi, he had his schooling in the village school and then passed middle from Hiranagar and matriculation from Samba. His parents passed away early in his boyhood but they had encouraged him to attain educational excellence. He did BA (Honours) from Prince of Wales College, Jammu (present Government Gandhi Memorial College). He was disciplined and dedicated to studies and secured excellent results.
He fondly recalled that when he appeared for the interview for admission to Post-Graduate in Ecnomics in Punjab University, Lahore, Dr LC Jain then Head of the Deptt without putting any question granted him admission on merit . He did creditably pass MA(Ecnomics) during 1947. In fact, he told me that Prof Jain, Head of Department offered him appointment on adhoc basis but due to Partition he could not take up the job and came back to his home town.
Narrating another interesting incident, he told me that after appearing for MA in July, 1947, he dared to attend the flag hoisting ceremony at Lahore on August 14 ( Pak Independence Day) and returned to home with great difficulty. His native village too was attacked twice from across the border.
Subsequently, he passed KCS examination and was deputed for training to Indian Accounts and Audit Institute, Shimla. He told me that KCS in J&K administration was introduced during 1938 by premier Gopala Swamy Iengar. First he remained in the Accountant Genreral office ( then with the J&K Governement). He recalled that AG office was with the State Government and those who remained on this post included Ram Lal Gupta, Peerzada Ghulam Ahmad who later on became Chief Secretary of the State.
Mr Goswami later got into Indian Audit a/cs Service (IAAS) cadre and became DAG holding posts at Ranchi, Bihar; Jagannath Puri (Odissa), Nagpur and then additional AG at Shimla (Punjab), Financial Controller in National Mineral Development Corporation, (a Naurattan PSU) and subsequently as AG in Uttar Pradesh for four years and also remained as Director, Accounts and Treasuries, Finance Secretary also holding charge of Director, Lotteriesl. He recollected that there was a case of Lotteries against him and other staff but after a thorough probe revealed nothing indiscriminating against anybody at all.
Subsequently, he held the post of Chairman, Airport International Authority of India (AAI) for nearly seven years and travelled wide across the globe. He mentioned that (IAAI during his tenure used to build airports in various foreign countries including Singapore,Yemen, Libya and earned profits too which was appreciated by Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Airports were built by India in some other foreign countries, he said and added that it is strange that a reverse process is now on and our airports are constructed by foreigners!
Key is Hard Work
Asked about his advice to the youth, the able administrator said “There is no substitute for hard work in any field of life” while his plea to the general public is to work hard and be highly competitive in the modern market”. To the bureaucrats, his suggestion was: “give your advice without fear or favour and thereafter dispassionately obey the orders”.
Questioned about the key to improve the financial health of Jammu and Kashmir, the old-time Finance Secretary opined: “Ensure no delays in execution of development projects or welfare schemes and in case of default take punitive action”.
In reply to a question regarding inhibition of any kind regarding his schooling and rural background, he promptly stated “I never felt second to anyone but always conducted myself with decorum and dignity”
His sons: Vinod Goswami retired as Chief Engineer, PHE; Pramod Goswami is high ranking officer with Ware Housing Corporation of India, New Delhi and Anil Goswami, IAS is Special Secretary, Union Home Ministry and now empanelled for Secretary to Government of India.
Asked to give the secret of his sound health this senior citizen stated that he always led a puritan way of life and even now have daily meditation and morning/evening walks. His wife, Pushpa Goswami too is a pious and religious lady and is a source of inspiration for the family. He is still associated with a prestigeous educational institution in Jammu.
(Starline Syndicate Service)