Uday Balakrishnan


Dr. Uday Balakrishnan, 59, belongs to the 1975 batch of the Indian Postal Service. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary having voluntarily retired from Government of India in August 2010. Uday Balakrishnan has a doctorate in Political Science from Karnatak University, India and has a professional qualification in Training from the University of Manchester. His last position in Government was Member of the Postal Services Board and Chairman Investment Board of the USD 3.2 billion Postal Life Insurance Fund. He conceptualized and launched   the National Micro Life Insurance Drive in 2009 through which the lives of millions of rural poor across India have been insured, making it the biggest initiative of its kind in the world. Uday Balakrishnan has earlier worked as Director in charge of  Child and Woman Labour in the Ministry of Labour  Government of India  where he did pioneering work in developing robust responses to the problem of child labour in India, working closely with the International Labour Organization's International Programme  on the Elimination of Child Labour and broad-basing the National Child Labour Projects which included giving stipends to parents to withdraw their children from work and send them to National Child Labour Project Schools across India. He also pioneered a special pilot programme to rehabilitate sex workers in the district of Vellore through a unique initiative to re-train them as home nurses in collaboration with the prestigious Christian Medical College in Vellore, Tamil Nadu implemented through the Collector of the District. Uday Balakrishnan also pioneered a special initiative to connect rural craftsmen directly to urban markets in India by passing middle men and extending low cost courier services to rural areas. As Registrar of the Indian Institute of Sciences he reformed India's premier science institute’s  administration saving it millions of rupees, amongst other things through streamlining its administration and significantly reducing its workforce through a special voluntary retirement scheme that saw the exit of significant numbers of redundant staff. He initiated and ran the Institute's   archive programme and conducted a number of exhibitions on the Institute's past. In collaboration with Reva Electric Car company (now Mahindra Reva); Uday Balakrishnan pioneered the use of electric vehicles in the transport and delivery of mails in the South Indian state of Kerala. Uday Balakrishnan was a member of the Organizing Committee of the conference, Gandhi in a Globalized World: Contemporary Relevance of Gandhian Thought’, held at the Central European University Budapest in December 2008. As part of the conference, Uday Balakrishnan collaborated with the well known French photographer Fabian Da Costa and Professor Istvan Perczel of the Central European University in conducting a photo-exhibition on Etikoppaka- a Gandhian village. Uday Balakrishnan’s articles and book reviews have appeared in leading newspapers like The HinduBusinesslineFrontlineYojana as well as The Economic and Political Weekly. He has given talks and lectured at the Indian Institute of Science’s Centre for Contemporary Studies, the Jawaharlal Nehru University, the National Labour Institute, The National Institute of Rural Development, and the Central European University amongst several others. He has often worked as a consultant for the International Labour Organization in India and most recently in Cambodia. Currently Uday Balakrishnan is working on a book on India and another on the Hungarian revolution of 1956 tentatively titled A Hole in the Flag. Uday Balakrishnan is passionately committed to improving the lot of poor people in rural India. Disclaimer: External experts are not affiliated with Gateway House and have been presented here for reference only.

Labour, Rural India

Last modified: August 10, 2017

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