Former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramanian Passes Away


Former cabinet secretary TSR Subramanian breathed his last Monday morning. The 79 year old was a 1961 batch Indian Administrative Service officer from the Uttar Pradesh cadre. Subramanian served in various capacities including his most important stint as the cabinet secretary from 1996 to 1998.

Tributes poured in for the former IAS officer from many including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Calling TSR the tallest amongst IAS officers, the IAS association tweeted, “Extremely shocked to hear the sad news of the demise of TSR Subramanian. He was the tallest amongst all and is a big loss for the IAS fraternity and the nation.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “”Shri TSR Subramanian distinguished himself as an outstanding civil servant. He also left a mark with his prolific writings and interventions on important public causes. Saddened by his demise. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”



Former President Pranab Mukherjee also conveyed his deepest condolences to Subramanian’s family and friends. “Saddened at the passing away of Shri TSR Subramanian, Former Cabinet Secretary. My deepest condolences to his family and friends,” the former president said.


TSR Subramanian (11 December 1938 – 26 February 2018)


  • TSR Subramanian’s full name is Thirumanilaiyur Sitapati Ramana Subramanian
  • Born in 1938 into a middle class Tamil family in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
  • Subramanian pursued Master’s in Mathematics from Calcutta University then went to London to study at Imperial College.
  • Also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University
  • He was a 1961 batch IAS officer from Uttar Pradesh Cadre
  • His first posting as District Magistrate was in Ghazipur, U.P
  • Served as the state’s Chief Secretary between 1992 and 1994 in between stints at the Centre
  • In 1992, after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, he was sent to U.P as Chief Secretary
  • TSR was Cabinet Secretary from 1 August 1996 to 31 March 1998
  • As Cabinet Secretary, Subramanian worked with three prime ministers — Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Inder Kumar Gujral and H D Deve Gowda.
  • Also held the post of Secretary in the Ministry of Textiles when he was responsible for clearing Bt Cotton as Textiles Secretary– a decision which a few years ago he regretted
  • Founder member and former Chancellor of the Shiv Nadar University
  • Fought for bureaucrats against political interference. Subramanian was part of a group of bureaucrats and diplomats on whose petition the Supreme Court in 2013 had rolled out key civil services reforms
  • Even after he retired as Cabinet Secretary in 1998, Subramanian remained active for bureaucrats’ cause
  • He began as ‘ The Indian Express’ columnist in 2015
  • After his retirement , he headed the TSR Committee for formulate new Education Policy which was presented to the NDA government in 2016, but was rejected
  • Led a task force set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to leverage the post office network in the country to enhance the role of India Posts in the financial inclusion
  • Subramanian penned three books on Indian polity and administration
  • Was a prominent face on television debates. He spoke vociferously on matters related to the bureaucracy


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