“In Social sector infrastructure it is not just the product, but the process which is important.” -
Dr. Kalpana Gopalanis a serving officer of the lndian Administrative Service for 29years.She has worked in land administration, urban management, rural development and education, and is now Principal Secretary to Government, Administrative Reforms & Trainingand Director-General, Administrative Training Institute, Government of Karnataka. ..
A practitioner, policy-maker, scholar, author, advocate for social causes and a mother,Dr Kalpana Goplaanwears many hats.She has a unique mix of academic and practical experience. She honed her research skills as a Doctoral and Masters Student in public policy in llM Bangalore. She was rated among the ‘top two percent of Doctoral Candidates in the past decade,’ for her research on infrastructure public private partnerships.
A gold medalist and university topper in her undergraduate and master’s, she was fellow in the University of Salerno in ltaly; Chevening scholar, UK; and Maxwell public policy scholar in Syracuse University, USA.
While serving as a public service professional, Dr Kalpana Gopalan concurrently continues her academic activities as a Senior Research Fellow in the National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, Visiting Professor/Fellow in the Institute of Social & Economic Change, Bangalore, lndian Institute of Science, Bangalore and lndianlnstitute of Management Bangalore and Guest Faculty, Kuvempu University, Shimoga.
Dr. Kalpana Gopalan IAS shares with Marie Banu her views on Public Private Partnerships.
About your childhood, education?
I studied at Vidyodaya School in Chennai and did my Graduation and Post-graduation in English Literature at Stella Maris College. My parents had an inter-regional marriage;my mother is from Gujarat, and my father is from Tamil Nadu. My father grew up mostly in Orissa and Andhra, so most of our family members, the older generation, speak very good Oriya and Telugu as well. We always had a pan-indian ethos in the family.
I was a very good student, a gold medalist in both UG and PG. I joined IIT Madras for PhD and was a All India topper in the Common Examination for Research Admission..I was there for a year, wrote the Civil Services Examination, and joined Indian Administrative Service.
What inspired you to join Indian Administrative Services?
It was serendipity! My father set the goal .. He always had this as an option, but I was interested in academics. I did not find a PhD programme tailored to my research 0interest, therefore I looked elsewhere. The real encouragement came from my paternal uncle and a . neighbor.In the Chennai,of those days, were were all in and eminentout of each other’s houses and the whole street was like a family. I had a neighbour who used to like me because I was good at studies. That’s how I got encouraged, wrote the Civil Service Examination, and passed in the first attempt, standing 20th rank in the All-India Merit List.