NO Dream is Too Big! Book launch of GG Saxena

Effectively, it says to Dream is Good, and then only can we Deliver! Indeed, this book spells just one such dream over a government career across sectors.

Not often does any officer, either in government or in the private sector, pen down what all he did during his working tenure. It is like calling oneself out, to scrutiny, to analysis; it is like seeking to share your own report card! G G Saxena, IAS retired, has just done that. Listed through his long innings what all did in every one of his postings. A testimony perhaps as to how and why the bureaucracy survives! There are more good officers than the not-so-good ones.

GG has served in Prasar Bharti, in the sales tax department, in the Andamans and in Delhi Tourism, among others. As a Delhi cadre officer, he has seen much and done much, as well. His memoirs were released recently in the capital, at a special evening organised by the Delhi Administration Officers’ Academic Forum, Social Buzz and Prabhat Prakashan.

‘No Dream is Too Big: Memoirs of a Civil Servant’ was formally launched at the India International Centre (IIC) by Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa who had the opportunity to interact with GG when the former was JS in the Ministry of Tourism and GG was serving in the Andamans.

The launch event included Dr SY Quraishi, former CEC; Lt. General Bhopinder Singh, former LG in the Andamans; PK Tripathi, former chief secretary, Delhi Government; and Navin Berry, chief editor, DI Conversations. K Mahesh was moderator for the panel discussion that formed the highlight of the event.

“Tourism is the biggest job creator where every direct job creates five indirect jobs due to the multiplier effect. This book will inspire budding bureaucrats and aspiring civil servants to understand the qualities required by a civil servant. Dr Saxena has always created user-friendly manuals in whichever department he worked and this book may be a good reference book for UPSC civil service exams,” said Amitabh Kant in his introduction to the book.

“Dr. Saxena is one of the finest officers that the Delhi Administration has produced. He is the man who lives, eats, and breathes tourism,” he added while reviewing the book.

Speaking on how tourism is helping the country despite having a considerably low proportion in GDP, Navin Berry said “Latest events such as the World Cup and the world of Indian weddings have become new-age drivers for tourism in the country. One is not sure how much of this is being captured by the present statistics. My impression is that our research and figures need a refresh button, and ensure we have captured the full picture! Regardless, the tourism picture looks healthy with the hotel industry showing record occupancies!”

Mentioning Dr Saxena’s efforts in various fields, Dr. SY Quraishi, added, “Dr Saxena’s efforts help in creating new DD Bharati Channel and increase of in-house production of DD programs from 6 to 23 per cent without any increase in the existing workforce of DD shows his grit and compassion. The same has been captured well in the book. GG was an exceptional support in our efforts to make Doordarshan compete effectively with the private channels.”

PK Tripathy recalled his interaction with GG, though spent more time in commenting upon present day tussle in Delhi government and the ongoing disputes, saying this was a hard time for bureaucrats to serve, not knowing whom they should report to, whom should they listen to, considering the duplicity of authority.

GG kept his affable and humble composure through the evening, preferring to attribute his success to the support and love of his family, naming each of them, for contributing to his career and to the penning of his book. The publication, indeed, serves a useful purpose to document how a civil servant can take each assignment for what it’s worth, and effectively making the difference. GG was exceptional in taking up laborious assignments, creating new manuals, ensuring ease in business. A must read for every bureaucrat.

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