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March 11-13, 2001  |  The Taj West End Hotel  |  Bangalore, India

Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu

Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, was born in Naravaripally village of Chittoor district on April 20, 1950. His late father Sri N.K. Naidu was an agriculturist and his mother Smt. Ammanamma is a housewife. Mr. Naidu had his school education in Chandragiri and his college education at the Sri Venkateswara Arts College, Tirupati. He did his Masters in Economics from the Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. He was doing research for a Ph.D. degree at the same university, when he took to politics.

Mr. Naidu has been active in politics since his student days. He held various positions in his college and organized a number of social activities. Following the 1977 cyclone, which devastated Diviseema taluk of Krishna district, he actively organized donations and relief material from Chittoor district for the cyclone victims. Mr. Naidu has been evincing keen interest in rural development activities in general and, the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden sections of society in particular.

Mr.Naidu was elected to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly in 1978 from Chandragiri constituency in Chittoor district. He served as a Director of the A.P. Small Scale Industries Development Corporation for some time. He subsequently became a Minister and held the portfolios of Archives, Cinematography, Technical Education, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, Public Libraries and Minor Irrigation between 1980 and 1983. He also served as the Chairman of the State Karshak Parishad, constituted for the first time to look after the welfare of the farming community.

Mr. Naidu was the General Secretary of Telugu Desam Party since 1985, in which capacity he was instrumental in building up an effective party organization from the grass roots. He was the moving force for designing and organizing large scale multifaceted training programmes for party functionaries.

He was elected again to the State Legislature from Kuppam constituency of Chittoor district in 1989. He served as Coordinator of the Telugu Desam Party, in which capacity he effectively handled the party’s role of main opposition in the assembly which won him wide appreciation from both the party and the public. His role during this phase both inside the legislative assembly and outside was a critical factor for the subsequent success of the party at the hustings.

In 1994,  he was reelected to the Assembly from Kuppam constituency with a large majority of 57,000 votes and held the important portfolios of Revenue and Finance. During this tenure Mr. Naidu systematically introduced transparency in Government, thus breaking the tradition of inordinate secrecy in the Finance department.

The mantle of leadership fell on the shoulders of Mr. Naidu at a most critical juncture in the State’s politics. Following a popular upsurge in the party Mr. Naidu, was unanimously elected as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on 1st September 1995.

Following the elections to the State assembly wherein the Telugu Desam Party led by Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu emerged as a winner, he was sworn in on the 11th of October, 1999 as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for the second term. He was elected with a majority of more than 65,000 votes. 

The Chief Minister has a modern outlook to administration. His style of functioning is more akin to that of a CEO as compared to a traditional politician. The Chief Minister has a firm conviction that modern technology should be used in the service of the common man. Consequently, he has been laying great emphasis on the use of modern information technology in Government. He would like the State to be run professionally as an efficient organization rather than as a bureaucracy saddled with red-tape.

The Chief Minister’s vision for the future includes multidimensional development of all citizens of the State. He is keen to develop the full potential of all citizens based on a strong moral foundation. The Chief Minister has been propagating a return to ethical and value based precepts in day to day life. In keeping with this commitment, he has launched new initiatives, like the Janmabhoomi programme which aims at achieving excellence in all walks of life and focuses on community building through team work.

In order to achieve greater involvement of the people in the implementation of Government programmes, the Chief Minister has been encouraging the concept of social audit, which involves making information available to all citizens about the works being taken up with public funds in their area. The Chief Minister has also taken the initiative for setting up self help groups like Water users’ associations, for involving farmers in the management of irrigation systems. Other self help groups like Watershed Development Committees, Womens’ groups, Youth groups, Village Education Committees and Village Health Committees have also been set up. These self help groups have significantly contributed to removing intermediaries and have been widely acknowledged for improving the condition of the poor. 

The Chief Minister has initiated an exercise to define the Vision 2020 for the state. According to the Chief Minister, "Our vision of Andhra Pradesh is a State where poverty is totally eradicated; where every man, woman and child has access to not just the basic minimum needs, but to all the opportunities for leading a happy and fulfilling life; a knowledge and learning society built on the values of hard work, honesty, discipline and a collective sense of purpose." This vision reflects the Chief Minister’s forward looking perspective on the state’s development, and the details of the vision are proposed to be fine tuned in consultation with the people on a continuing basis. 

The Chief Minister is undertaking administrative reforms in right earnest and would like to emphasise as much on processes of ‘transformating’ as on ‘informating’ within Government. As part of the Administrative Reforms, the Chief Minister would like to use Information Technology for providing better quality of governance for the common man.

At the Chief Minister’s initiative, a State Wide Area Network has been set up linking State Secretariat  and all  the district Collectorates using fibre optic networks. This is being used for purposes of video conferencing, training and live demonstrations.  Campus Area network in the Secretariat and local Area Networks in various government offices at different locations will be linked to APSWAN. 

An Executive Information System for monitoring the progress of various governmental programmes has been set up in the Chief Minister’s Office. The information is now being fine-tuned and expanded to cover more details and a large number of subject areas. Geographical Information System (GIS) applications for the road network in the State, the Irrigation and Drainage System, Forestry and Wasteland development are also under implementation.

The Chief Minister is keen to set up distributed data warehouses in different government departments as part of a Governmental Intranet. The Chief Minister feels that the Internet technology holds immense potential for the future and should be used to provide high quality service to the citizen. It is therefore contemplated that all information relevant to the citizen should be made available on electronic networks. This will ensure ‘one-stop’ ‘non-stop’ information to all citizens. As part of his vision for Information Technology the Government of Andhra Pradesh is moving towards the concept of paper-less offices using workflow concepts and enterprise wide computing. The Government of Andhra Pradesh is in the process of setting up a unified portal and is expanding on a pilot project called TWINS (Twin cities Integrated Network Services) for providing one stop services. With this, multiple citizen services like payment of bills, registration of births and deaths, issuance of licenses will be provided in a convenient manner. 

At the Chief Minister’s behest, the computerisation of the registration department covering 214 sub-registrars offices has been completed. This computerisation will enable citizens to access services in a fraction of the time previously taken. For example, registration of a land sale that previously used to take one week, can now be accomplished in less than one hour.

In recognition of the Chief Minister's leadership and vision in the field of Information technology, Mr.Naidu was designated as the Co-chairperson of the National Task Force on Information technology set up by the Government of India to prepare the IT road map for the future. The Chief Minister in his capacity as the Co-chairperson of the National Task Force, has taken a number of initiatives for dismantling the monopoly in the telecommunications sector and for promoting the use of Information technology for common citizens. The stellar role played by the Chief Minister in promoting Information technology for better governance has been widely recognised, both within and outside the country.

When the Chief Minister took over in 1995, the State’s finances were in very poor shape. Following the initiatives launched by the Chief Minister, there has been a remarkable improvement in the State’s economic performance. 

The Chief Minister is a firm believer in accountability of the Government and has taken steps to systematically incorporate accountability as an intrinsic feature of Government’s functioning.

The Chief Minister would like to achieve tangible results in a short time frame. His working hours extend from 6.30 in the morning to late into night. During this period, the Chief Minister devotes a significant portion of his time for meeting a large number of common citizens and addressing their problems and concerns. A grievance cell has been set up in the Chief Minister’s Office for monitoring the redressal of public grievances. The Chief Minister’s itinerary also includes surprise visits to the districts which are aimed at keeping administration on its toes. These visits are directed at curbing administrative corruption and lethargy.

The decision making within the government has been expedited by making effective use of communication by the Chief Minister. For example, a videoconferencing unit enables the Chief Minister to simultaneously address all District Collectors or consult the Cabinet ministers on various issues.  The Chief Minister has been conducting videoconferences with Collectors on various issues like the power situation, clean and green programme, rythu bazaars, monitoring of prices, implementation of road works, sanitation and public health, law and order etc. The system has been extremely effective in overcoming the routine bureaucratic delays in the course of responding to issues of immediate public concern during these videoconferences. 

The Chief Minister is well known for innovative concepts and  programmes. The  “Dial your Chief Minister” programme, telecast by the Doordarshan Kendra of Hyderabad is one such programme which is telecast every Monday. The Chief Minister addresses the citizens over a large number of issues. A subject is identified for the week and the citizens come up with their problems and communicate it to the  Chief  Minister .  The "Dial your Chief Minister" programme is a very popular one with citizens and the viewership of the programme is rated very high.  

The Chief Minster has laid a lot of emphasis on water conservation and water harvesting. He has taken up a campaign for sensitising the people of the State and the administration for better management of water to prevent drought situation in the future.  Launching of an innovative programme called “Neeru Meeru”, formation of Watershed Committees, promotion of Water Shed development have all been taken up in the State for better management of water   on the insistence of the Chief Minister. Water Conservation Mission has been formed as a step in this direction. Inspired by his efforts there has been a voluntary participatory movement amongst the citizens of the State towards water conservation. A number of households have built rain water-harvesting structures towards this cause.  

Mr. Chandrababu Naidu has drawn attention and has concentrated on evolving a new way looking at Centre State fnance relations. He has spearheaded the campaign for fiscal federalism in the wake of the recommendations of the Eleventh Finance Commission. He has emphasised on  equity and efficiency in the devolution of Central revenues and sharing of resources between the Centre and the States.

The Chief Minister was awarded "The Business Person of the Year" award in the year 1998, by the Economic Times. The award recognised the progressive policies pursued by the Chief Minister. While presenting the award, the citation mentioned that "it is a vote for reform, for a politician who means business and sees himself as a Chief Executive and his people as shareholders".

When World Link magazine of the World Economic Forum, decided to pick a dream cabinet of political leaders in the year 1998, it selected 15 truly outstanding leaders after consultations with various experts. Since political leadership was not necessarily confined to national governments, they also looked at successful regional leaders and pan regional institutions. Mr. N.Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh who made the grade to World Link’s dream cabinet shared the honours with the British Prime Minister, Mr. Tony Blair; Iranian President, Mr. Mohammed Khatami and Foreign Minister of New Zealand, Don McKinnon among others.

The Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu was given the "IT man of the year" award by the Computer World in the year 1999, for his vision and contributions in harnessing IT for improving the lives of common citizens.

The Chief Minister has been voted as the "IT Indian of the Millennium", in the year 1999, in a poll 
conducted by a leading weekly magazine, 'India Today'. Mr.N.Chandrababu Naidu was the only politician to be so preferred by the voters. 

The Chief Minister has been declared as the South Asian of the Year, 1999 by the Time Asia magazine.

The Chief Minister has been chosen as one of 50  leaders at the forefront of change in the year 2000 by the Business Week magazine for being an unflinching proponent of technology and his drive to transform the State.

The Chief Minister is married to Mrs. Bhuvaneswari and has a son Lokesh. His father-in-law the late Mr. N.T.Rama Rao was one of the most accomplished film actors of Telugu cinema, who later founded the Telugu Desam Party and was also the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.

What they have to say:

"In Andhra Pradesh in India, a state of 70 million people, the Chief Minister has a programme for 2020. A programme for literacy, for improved access to health care, for livelihoods, empowering women, developing backward areas, creating safety nets -- a programme with clearly monitorable targets that can be regularly checked"- Mr.James Wolfensohn, President -The World Bank, (Oct 6, 1998) . 

"Chandrababu Naidu, the visionary chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, is trying to make government more transparent and responsive by making it electronic .......The sort of revolution Mr. Naidu is aiming for in Andhra Pradesh – a managerial, not an ideological one – is exactly what India needs"-The Economist, ( May 22,1999) .

"Chandrababu Naidu has pioneered people centred development process in the State which is designed to make the government sensitive to the needs of the smallest village and galvanise government officials into tackling them"- 'The Independent, London, (Sep 28,1999).  

"As India's states become increasingly important in the drive for the economic growth that is needed to pull hundreds of millions of Indians out of poverty, state leaders like Naidu are at the vanguard of efforts to modernize local economies and integrate them into the global marketplace" - New York Times, (Sep 10, 1999) .

"In just five years, he has turned an impoverished, rural backwater into India's new information-technology hub .More than that, he has shaken up the state's moribund administration into the most efficient civil service in South Asia. "- Time Asia, ( 31 Dec 1999) 

" Naidu has emerged as a symbol of reform not just for Andhra, but for all Indians eager to replace the politics of populism and patronage with a new mantra of economic growth and efficient governance .......  the ripples from the Andhra experiment will be felt all over the country"- The Far Eastern Economic Review,  (Jan 20, 2000)

"N. Chandrababu Naidu, the 49-year-old chief minister of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, emerged from October's polls with unique stature. His ambitious and internationally-backed reform programme (and enthusiasm for "e-governance") confounded the pundits and triumphed over the populist bribes which are the staple of Indian elections"- Financial Times, (Jan 31,2000)

"Again, I want to say that I think Chief Minister Naidu deserves a lot of credit for giving you the right kind of governance" - Mr. William Jefferson Clinton - US  President (Mar 24, 2000)

"N. Chandrababu Naidu is an unflinching proponent of technology and what it can do for a poor country like India............In his five years running Andhra Pradesh, Naidu, 50, has used his decisiveness and drive to transform the state"- Business Week (July 3, 2000)

"For the last five years the chief minister of this mainly rural state has tried to lift its 80 million inhabitants by using information technology and by following the economic model of East Asia's success stories...........The world is watching Mr. Naidu and his experiment, waiting to learn whether a state larger in population than most Southeast Asian countries, heavily reliant on farming and light industry, can leapfrog the traditional path to development by focusing on software and the Internet...So far, many of the early results of Mr. Naidu's experiment are encouraging. " - Herald Tribune (Aug 30, 2000)

"He is a politician who has been voted the country's best CEO. He has catapulted his state from the backwaters of the old economy to the cutting edge of the new. He has transformed his sleepy capital city into snazzy showcase of high technology."- Times of India ( Oct 12, 2000)



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