Since the lockdown Rohit Kansal’s tweets and media briefs about how UT of Jammu and Kashmir has been faring in the battle against Covid-19 has become most awaited thing every day. He shares infection rates, protection equipment, lockdowns and testing, among others, and generally tries to reassure the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir through the media that there’s no reason to panic.
For Rohit Kansal, it could just be another day at the office. But the reality is, it isn’t. This is the biggest health emergency the planet has faced in decades, and Rohit Kansal has become the face and voice of the Jammu & Kashmir Government’s efforts to tackle it.
Rohit Kansal is a 1995 batch IAS officer, is principal secretary and spokesperson of the J&K government is currently holding charge of Development and Monitoring Department, Hospitality & Protocol Department, Estates Department and Civil Aviation Department, Administrative Secretary, Information Department.
He is a management postgraduate from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kolkata and a mechanical engineer from the Thapar University in Punjab, Rohit Kansal is also the recipient of the Chevening Gurukul fellowship at the London School of Economics. He has lectured on IPR issues for the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Geneva.
Kansal has led the office of the then Minister of New and Renewable Energy, GoI and the office of P Chidambaram, former Finance Minister of India. He has been the district magistrate and collector in some of the most difficult terrorist infested areas in the states of Jammu and Kashmir. As the collector of Jammu in 2002 during Operation Parakram, he oversaw the relief and temporary resettlement of over half a million villagers displaced by the massive security build-up on either side of the Indo-Pak border. He has also been the additional chief executive officer (ACEO) of the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine (Board) at Katra, India.
According to online media reports he has played a key role in abrogation of Article 370 and in determining what message goes out of the Valley — whether it is about giving an official comment on the law and order situation or the government’s stand on incidents of protest and violence, or even its decision to restore communication.
He has also been invited by the Yale Law School and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore amongst others for talks. He has published case studies on administrative and strategic matters and has also written on tourism, economic and general issues. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
His role in the present COVID-19 crisis is lauded on a national level for the manner in which he has been keeping the public and the media informed and putting out regular updates.
Source: Various reports available on online media.