Nilakanta Mahadeva Ayyar

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Nilakanta Mahadeva Ayyar CIE (18 May 1899 to 29 March 1971) was a member of the erstwhile Indian Civil Service.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born at Nagercoil in a South Indian Brahmin family on 18 May 1899 as the eldest of twelve children of Rao Bahadur Mahadeva Nilakanta Ayyar (an executive engineer [1] ).[2] He was educated at the Presidency College in Madras and later at Cambridge.[3] His youngest brother was a naval rear admiral, Nilakanta Krishnan.


Mahadeva Ayyar joined the ICS cadre in October 1922. He was initially posted in Bengal as assistant magistrate and collector and subsequently rose to the post of sub-divisional officer in 1924.[4] From 1925-27 he served the Finance Department of the Government of India as assistant collector of customs at Calcutta and Madras. In 1928 Ayyar was appointed as magistrate and collector of Bengal. From 1936 to 1942 he served as deputy secretary to the Industries and Labour Department, and then as the first chairman of the Coal Mines Stowing Board in 1939. In 1943 he served for a term as director and secretary of Civil Supplies, Government of Bengal, and then as Provincial Transport Commissioner. In 1947, after Independence he was appointed the first Indian chairman of the commissioners for the Port of Calcutta.[3][5] While serving as the chairman, Coal Mining Stowing Board, Ayyar was awarded Companions of the Order of the Indian Empire (CIE)in 1941 [6] and later Honorary Lieutenant Colonel. In 1952 he was appointed secretary to the Transport Ministry, Government of India.[3]


Ayyar retired in 1958 and died in Bangalore in 1971. He was survived by two daughters and a son.


  1. ^ Doyle, Patrick (1905). Indian engineering, Volume 37. Calcutta. pp. xii. 
  2. ^ Sturgess, Herbert Arthur Charlie (1949). Register of admissions to the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, from the fifteenth century to the year 1944, Volume 3. Published for the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple by Butterworth. p. 858. 
  3. ^ a b c Transportation (1953). Railway gazette international. Reed Business Pub. p. 299. 
  4. ^ page 290, The India office list and Burma office list, 1947, Volume 56, India Office, Great Britain.
  5. ^ Mukherjee, Nilmani (1968). The Port of Calcutta: a short history. Commissioners for the Port of Calcutta; [distributors: Oxford Book & Stationery Co.] pp. 168, 177. 
  6. ^

1. India Office list of civil servants in the Indian Civil Services issued by the India office, at London.