Shri Ajay Shankar joined the Indian Administrative Service,
India’s premier career civil service in 1973. He has a Masters
in Political Science from Allahabad University and a Masters
in Economics from Georgetown University, Washington D.C. He
taught Political Science at Allahabad University for two years
before joining Government.
He has rich and varied experience in the Central and State
Governments in industrial promotion, the energy sector and
urban management and development.
He retired as Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy &
Promotion in the Commerce and Industry Ministry, Government of
India in December, 2009. He played a critical role in putting
together the stimulus packages at the time of the global
economic crisis 2008 as a member of Group of Secretaries
constituted for this purpose. He took a number of policy
decisions to improve the competitiveness of the Indian
industrial sector. Under his stewardship, the plan for the
Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor project was developed for
implementation. The Foreign Direct Investment policy was
further liberalized and became more investor-friendly.
Prior to that, he was Principal Adviser in the Planning
Commission looking after the water, sanitation and environment
and forest sectors as well as provision of rural
As Joint Secretary/Additional Secretary in the Ministry of
Power he played a key role in preparation and enactment of the
Electricity Act, 2003, and the rules and policies under the
Act. This created a new liberal framework for the development
of the power sector in India and was one of the major pieces
of reform legislation at that time. He was also instrumental
in promoting private sector participation in the Power Sector
and the ultra-mega power projects. He conceived the Rajiv
Gandhi Gramin Vidyutikaran Yojana for completing the rural
As CEO, Greater NOIDA Industrial Development Authority, he was
responsible for the development of one of the most attractive
industrial townships. He was Secretary to the Lt. Governor of
Delhi for over 5 years, and has also been Commissioner, Kanpur
and Chairman, Kanpur Development Authority.
He has served on the Board of major public sector companies
such as IDBI, EXIM Bank, NTPC, NHPC, PFC, REC. He has been
Chairman of the Damodar Velly Corporation. He has been a
member of Committees on reform of public sector undertakings,
electricity distribution and resources for the power sector
for the 10th Plan. He was closely associated with the design
of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission.
After retirement he was a Distinguished Fellow with TERI. He
also served on the Board of Tata Global Beverages Ltd. His
articles on economic policy issues have been appearing in the
He has been working as Member Secretary, National
Manufacturing Competitiveness Council.