N. N. Wanchoo

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Niranjan Nath Wanchoo (also spelt Wanchu) OBE, ICS [1] (May 1, 1910 – October 20, 1982) was a senior civil servant and later, Governor of the states of Kerala and Madhya Pradesh in India. He was educated at the Government College, Lahore and Kings College, Cambridge[2] and the Royal College of Defence Studies, UK.[1]

Civil servant[edit]

He was selected to the Indian Civil Service in 1934 and began his career as a Sub-Collector in Bihar. Over the course of his career, he served, in among other posts, as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Defence and Chief Controller of defence production (1948-‘57), Secretary to Government of India, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance (1960 – ‘61), Chairman of the Bokaro Steel plant (1965–70)[2] and Secretary to the Government of India, Department of Industrial Development (1968 – ’70). He was also a member of Court of Governors of the Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad.[3] He retired as Chairman, Industrial Customs and Prices Bureau in 1972.


He served as the Governor of Kerala from April 1, 1973 to October 10, 1977 – with C. Achutha Menon, K. Karunakaran and A. K. Antony as Chief Ministers[4] and then as Governor of Madhya Pradesh from October 14, 1977 to August 16, 1978 with Kailash Chandra Joshi and Virendra Kumar Sakhlecha as Chief Ministers.[5]

Other roles[edit]

The Planning Commission appointed him the head of a committee to look into industrial development for the backward areas in India and to recommend fiscal and financial incentives for industries in these areas. The Wanchoo Committee recommended that a few areas be selected and fiscal and financial resources be spent to develop these into growth poles rather than spread out resources thinly but uniformly across all backward areas[6] He was also Chairman of Delhi Urban Art Commission in 1982.[7] He died on October 20, 1982.[citation needed]