Prem Das Rai
Prem Das Rai
|Member of Parliament|
|Assumed office |
25 May 2009
|Preceded by||Nakul Das Rai|
Sikkim Democratic Front
|Born||31 July 1954|
Darjeeling, West Bengal, India
|Political party||Sikkim Democratic Front|
|Children||Juneli Rai, Nitin Das Rai|
|Alma mater||Wynberg Allen School|
Prem Das Rai (born 31 July 1954) is an Indian politician from the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party. Mr. Rai is currently a Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) from the Sikkim constituency of Sikkim, India, first elected in 2009 election and re-elected in 2014 after serving his first term in 2009-2014.
He has the distinction of being the first Member of Parliament with both Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Management degrees. In 2002, he was awarded the prestigious and selective Eisenhower Fellowship (USA) for his contribution to Sikkim's economic and industrial growth.
He is married to Jean Chun Ping Rai. They have two children, both who work in Singapore. Rai is widely travelled, having visited over 40 countries.
Early life and education
Rai did his schooling at Wynberg Allen School, Mussoorie, then in Uttar Pradesh, on a Government of India scholarship. He did his chemical engineering from IIT, Kanpur in 1976 and his Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (MBA), in 1978, from IIM, Ahmedabad. 
After starting his career with the Bank of America in Kolkata, he returned in 1979 to serve Sikkim in various capacities such as the Managing Director of Sikkim Flour Mills Limited (1979 – 1985), Managing Director of the Sikkim Milk Union (1983-85), Chairman of Sikkim Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Limited (SIDICO) & Sikkim Scheduled Tribes and All Other Backward Classes Financial Development Corporation (SABCCO, 1999 – 2004), Founding Chairman of the Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim (ECOSS) (2001-2009), and CEO (Northeast India) of BASIX (2008), India's eminent micro-finance and livelihood promotion institution.
During the period 1985-2006, Mr. Rai was also a prolific entrepreneur. He is credited with bringing the first computers into Sikkim, and set up an email service in the region which was used a Bulletin Board Service between Gangtok and Kolkata before Internet services were widely available in the region. Along with his father, he edited the popular weekly, the Gangtok Times, for a decade between 1994 and 2004.
His political career began in 1993-94, when he joined the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) Party after the Party was founded by his political mentor, Shri Pawan Chamling. Rai joined the SDF in its formative years. He served as the party's General Secretary and has worked at all its various structural levels. He has helped with SDF's manifesto and vision, and continues to work for the party and for the prosperity of the Sikkimese people.
He also served as the Secretary General and later as President of the Akhil Kirat Rai Sangh (AKRS), and Chaired the Other Backwards Classes Association. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission of the Government of Sikkim.
Current national and state roles
Rai is currently a Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation, and the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Tribal Affairs & DoNER Ministry. He is also the Secretary General of the North-East MPs’ Forum, Member of the Governing Council of Centre for Environmental Health, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI), and Member of the Advisory Council of Population Foundation of India (PFI). He heads the Parliamentary Committee on Population & Development.
Rai serves as chair for the Steering Committee on Anti-Drugs under the Department of Social Justice & Women Empowerment, Government of Sikkim, which has spawned a unique program in Government Schools called SAATHI. He is Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of Educational Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP), under the Human Resource Development Department, Government of Sikkim.
Until recently, Mr. Rai served as the Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission of the Government of Sikkim, and was a former General Secretary of the Sikkim Democratic Front Party. Currently, he also serves as the editor of the Political & Economic Journal of Sikkim, and as SDF Spokesperson, commenting primarily on National issues.
Awards and accolades
Rai has undertaken leadership courses at Yale, Oxford, Harvard and Princeton Universities on invitation. He has also lectured in Universities and Institutions in Tokyo, Japan, sponsored by the Sasakawa Foundation, and has attended the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council working sessions. He was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship in 2000 for distinguished contribution to the economic and industrial growth of Sikkim.
In 2012, he was awarded with Distinguished Alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, and is also a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Kanpur.
- "Fifteenth Lok Sabha Members Bioprofile — Rai, Shri Prem Das". Lok Sabha. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Why is Sikkim's merger with India being questioned by China?".
- Borpujari, Utpal (2009). "Sikkim Member of Parliament is an alumnus of IIT, IIM". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Bhattacharya, Amit (2 June 2009). "In a first, an IIT-IIMer as MP". Times of India. Retrieved 26 April 2012.