Gautam Sanyal

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Gautam Sanyal
Personal details
Born 14 October 1951
Nationality Indian

Gautam Sanyal is an Indian career civil servant who currently serves as Principal Secretary to Government of West Bengal, since June 2015.[1][2][3] In June 2016, he was re-appointed[4] as Principal Secretary and his tenure co-terminus with that of Chief Minister of West Bengal.[4][5]

He previously served as Secretary to Chief Minister of West Bengal from 2011 to 2015.[6][7][8] He also previously served as Joint Secretary to Government of India. He is a 1978 batch Central Secretariat Service officer.[9]


Sanyal joined the Central Secretariat Service in 1976[9] after qualifying through the Civil Services Examination. He rose through ranks and was later empanelled as Joint Secretary to Government of India in Ministry of Food Processing Industries[10] on June 2009 by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet. He was also the board member of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.[11][12]

He later served as Officer on Special Duty[10] to Union Cabinet Minister of Railways from 2009 to 2011. He retired in 2011.

After retirement from the Central Government, he was appointed as Secretary to the Chief Minister of West Bengal. His appointment and tenure to the post was made co-terminous with that of the Chief Minister.[13]


He is the first non Indian Administrative Service officer[14][15] in West Bengal and the first retired civil servant[16] to hold the position of Secretary in the Chief Ministers Office. He also became the first non IAS officer in history to hold the position of Principal Secretary in State governments of India.[17][18]

In 2011, a news blog declared him as the new poster boy of India’s civil services.[19] The Indian Express and The Financial Express rate him as top state bureaucrat in India[20][21] in the article most powerful Indians for the year 2013.[20][21] Many media articles consider him to the most powerful civil servant in the state in India[22][23] and the "most important officer" in the Government of West Bengal.[24][25][26][27]

In 2015, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions (DOPT) of Government of India rejected petition filed by the IAS association against the appointment of Gautam Sanyal as the Principal Secretary.


In 2013, media articles reported that CBI director Ranjit Sinha had placed Sanyal on his hit-list.[28][29][30]


  1. ^ ": Appointment of Gautam Sanyal as Principal Secretary: Government of West Bengal" (PDF). Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  2. ^ ": Unfulfilled once, sealed now - CM's aide is elevated as Principal Secretary". The Telegraph (Calcutta). Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  3. ^ ": Row over retired officer’s promotion". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Re-employment of Shri Goutam Sanyal as Principal Secretary to Hon'ble Chief Minister" (PDF). Government of West Bengal. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Sovan lines up his team". The Telegraph (Calcutta) . Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "Archive: Contact Numbers of Officers of Home Department (WB)". Ministry of Home Affairs. Archived from the original on 18 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "West Bengal CMO to be headed by retired officer Gautam Sanyal". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appoints Gautam Sanyal as Secretary". Jagran Post Newspaper. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Year 2010 Civil List of Group A officers of CSS" (PDF). Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Jha, Srinand. "In Mamata absence, core team of bureaucrats kept on the job". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)". SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CASELAW. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "FSSAI gets a new CEO, 7 ex-officio members". Food & Beverage News. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  13. ^ "Food minister wants extension for dept secy". The Statesman. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  14. ^ "In Mayawati's footsteps". The Indian Express. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  15. ^ "Caught in the loop". Asian Age. Retrieved 9 February 2012. 
  16. ^ "West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee man in perpetuity!". The Statesman. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "IAS Lobby Frets Over Eroding Monopoly". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  18. ^ "DoPT rejects IAS Association plea". Bureaucracy Today. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  19. ^ "Gautam Sanyal is Mamata’s Pulok; shows how a CSS officer can upset IAS power". Babus of India. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "The most powerful Indians in 2013: Top Public Figures". The Indian Express. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  21. ^ a b "The most powerful Indians in 2013: Top Public Figures". The Financial Express. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  22. ^ "Dilli Ka Babu". Afternoon. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  23. ^ "No love lost". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 12 June 2013. 
  24. ^ "West Bengal forms 11-member panel to check price rise". Business Line. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  25. ^ "CMO to be headed by retired officer". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  26. ^ Nagchoudhury, Subrata. "She stops to conquer". The Indian Express. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  27. ^ Raychaudhuri, Diptendra. "Mamata vs Babus: West Bengal Bureaucracy". gfiles Magazine. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  28. ^ "Mamata's men on CBI hit-list". The Sunday Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  29. ^ "Saradha: The Cookie Can Crumble Thus". Outlook (magazine) . Retrieved 23 September 2014. 
  30. ^ "Mamata Banerjee’s tenure as railway minister under CBI scanner". Gulf News. Retrieved 23 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Order of precedence
Preceded by
Order of Precedence of India
as Joint Secretary to Government of India

2009 to 2011