Shailaja Chandra (IAS retd) has over 45 years experience of public administration focusing on governance, health management, population stabilization and women’s empowerment. She was Secretary of the Department of Indian Systems of Medicine & Homeopathy, Ministry of Health &Family Welfare (1999-2002) and following that the Chief Secretary Delhi until 2004.
On retirement she was appointed the Chairman of the Public Grievances Commission and Appellate Authority under the Delhi Right to Information Act. In 2006 she was appointed as the first Executive Director of the National Population Stabilisation Fund, Government of India.
She is the author of a recently published Status Report on Indian Medicine (2011) which was commissioned by the Department of AYUSH, Government of India. A Report on the Delhi School Education Act and Rules where she was the Chairman of a Committee which suggested changes needed to address current policy and legal gaps in Delhi’s private school education sector was published recently.( 2012).
Shailaja has an M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Wales and an Honours Degree in English Literature. Her book “It Crossed My Mind” (Rupa 2007) is an anthology of articles on subjects of current social concern. She was given a special Award for advocacy on population issues and gender sensitivity by Ladli-UNFPA. Besides over 150 articles which bring up questions about public administration have been published by leading national dailies and magazines in India and also by the OECD and WHO.
She was recently awarded a fellowship at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Nantes, France to research and write a paper on Probity in Public Life.
Shailaja Chandra talks about how the Right to Information Act, which is a simple law and has helped countless people, has become embroiled in controversy.