S. Vijay Kumar has directed India’s National Wastelands Development Programme (1986-91) and the National Rural Roads Development Agency (2002-2005). He was also Permanent Secretary of the Ministries of Mines and of Rural Development (2010-13) He is now Distinguished Fellow at TERI, where he mentors younger colleagues and helps coordinate the policy work related to resources and the SDGs.He is also the India lead of the FOLU coalition.
S. Vijay Kumar was born on 30 September 1953 and has a post graduate degree in Mathematics from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University. During his 37-year career as a member of the Indian Administrative Service, S. Vijay Kumar has been a Municipal Administrator, a Regional Transport Authority and has executed rural development and poverty reduction programmes in various parts of India.
He was Director (1986-1991) of the National Wastelands Development Programme which was charged with policy planning and project approvals for reclamation annually of 5 million hectares of wastelands. From 1998 to 2002, S. Vijay Kumar was Joint Secretary to the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, assisting Parliamentary Committees in formulating their reports on various issues of regulation and development. He was Director-General of the National Rural Roads Development Agency (2002-2005) which is responsible for executing the Prime Minister’s Rural Roads Programme comprising the building of over 150,000 km of rural roads as part of the poverty reduction strategy of the government. From 2008 to 2011, S. Vijay Kumar was successively Additional Secretary and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Mines, responsible for policy and legislation and overall management of the geoscientific and mineral development programmes of the government. In this capacity he chaired the Committee on the Restructuring of the Geological Survey of India (GSI), and helped develop the Sustainable Development Framework for the Mineral sector. He also drafted the Mines and Minerals Bill 2011 for the government and was a member of the inter-departmental Committee on Allocation of Natural Resources (2011), and the Planning Commission Committee to develop the National Manufacturing Plan (2011).
During 2012-2013, S. Vijay Kumar was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development which is responsible for poverty reduction and rural infrastructure policies and programmes at the federal level. He retired from the Government on 30 September 2013. Consecutively he joined The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi on 1 November 2013 as Distinguished Fellow. He mentors researchers on issues related to natural resource and the SDGs, and has published discussion papers on policy issues relating to resources and sustainable development. He also was the Senior Consultant for the study by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER) titled “The Indian Steel Industry: Key reforms for a Brighter Future”(2015)
In addition to his work in TERI:
He prepared a Report in January 2014 on the request of the Ministry of Rural Development on "Restructuring of the National Institute of Rural Development" (NIRD)
He was chair of the Task Force appointed in March 2015 by the Madhya Pradesh Government at the instance of the NITI Aayog to draw up a new approach to poverty elimination (Report 2015)
He was co-chair of the committee set up by the Ministry of Rural Development in June 2015 for selecting private sector partners to champion its skill development programme Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU GKY) (2015-2017)
He was a Consultant to the National Think Tank,NITI Aayog in the rural development and rural transportation sectors for development of their Vision and strategic Plan for the Government of India
He was a member of a 3 member international review committee set up in 2016, which gave the Report on the Strategic Plan for CIRDAP (Centre on Integrated Rural development of Asia and the Pacific) a regional, intergovernmental and autonomous organisation, established at the initiative of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
He was a Member of the Board of Governors of the Institute for Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) in 2016-17
He chaired the High-Level Committee appointed by the Ministry of Rural Development in 2017 at the instance of the Supreme Court of India, to prepare guidelines/rules for accreditation of VOs/NGOs
He is a Member since 2018 of The Resource Efficiency Steering Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forest.
He was a Member the National Steering Committee under the Centrally sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan of the Ministry of Panchayat Raj (2019-20).
He is a Member of NITI Aayog’s evaluation committee for the programmes in the rural development sector (2020)
He is also the Leader of the Food and Land Use (FOLU) Coalition India programme , which is being implemented since 2019 by a consortium of four institutions, namely The Energy and Resources Institute(TERI), the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Council for Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A). The FOLU Coalition work in India focuses on increasing the sustainability of Indian agriculture and improving the nutritional status of India through better food production and waste reduction practices.
Vijay Kumar S & Bharat Girija ( 2014) Perspectives on a Water Resource Policy for India. TERI Discussion Paper (New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute) https :// www. teriin .org/ sites /default /files /2017 -12/persp .pdf
Vijay Kumar S &Srivastava Nidhi (2015) The Mineral Regulation and Development Framework in India .TERI Discussion Paper (New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute) https :// www. teriin .org /sites / default /files /2017- 12/ pb_ jan 15.pdf
Vijay Kumar S & Ganeshan Swati (2015) Moving Forward with a world class Mineral Policy for National Mineral Security. TERI Discussion Paper (New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute) https :// www .teriin. org/sites/default /files /2018-05/Discussion _Paper_ June_ 2015.pdf
Vijay Kumar S & Ganeshan Swati (2017) Why we need a New Mineral Exploration Policy for National Mineral Security. TERI Discussion Paper (New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute) https :// www .teriin .org / sites/ default /files /2018-05/ NMEP_ discussion-paper _june18 .pdf
Vijay Kumar S & Srivastava Nidhi (2017) Restructuring the Environmental Governance Architecture for India . TERI Discussion Paper (New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute) https: //www .teriin .org /sites /default /files/ 2018-07 / Environmental% 20Governance .pdf
Vijay Kumar S (2019) Rural Roads and the SDGs . TERI Discussion Paper (New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute) https://www.teriin.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/rural-roads-sdgs.pdf
Vijay Kumar S (2019) Exploration and Mining in India: Time for a deeper look .TERI Discussion Paper (New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute ) https :// www .teriin .org /sites /default /files /2019 -09 /exploration- mining- india .pdf
Vijay Kumar S, & Sinha R. K. (2020). Mineral Auctions in India: Winner’s curse or Owner’s pride? TERI Discussion Paper (New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute ) https :// www. teriin .org/ sites / default /files/2020-03 /mineral- auctions- india -dp .pdf