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Lunch with BS: Anil Swarup talks about his long career as a civil servant

Swarup gives Anjuli Bhargava a no-holds barred account of his experience as part of diverse governments, crises and assignments during his three decade-plus career

Anil Swarup

Illustration: Binay Sinha

Anjuli Bhargava
Outspoken, politically incorrect and witty. I have met civil servants of all hues during my career, but I am yet to meet one quite like this. How has he survived in the dull, staid world that represents the Indian bureaucracy?

Not only has he survived, he seems to have thrived no matter which party was at the helm. Anil Swarup, 1981 batch IAS officer, who retires today as secretary, HRD, has passed the litmus test for a true civil servant: Managing to stand on neutral ground. 

We are meeting at Verandah, at The Imperial in New Delhi, for lunch. We

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First Published: Jun 30 2018 | 5:59 AM IST

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