Shri. Ajay Shankar
Member Secretary


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 infrastructure.
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 electrification.

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 national papers.

He has been working as Member Secretary, National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council.