S. Vijay Kumar has directed India’s National Wastelands Development Programme and the National Rural Roads Development Agency. He was also Permanent Secretary of the Ministries of Rural Development and Mines. He is now Distinguished Fellow at TERI.

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 resources, especially minerals, and has published discussion papers on “Perspectives on a Water Resource Policy for India” in 2014, and “The Mineral Regulation and Development Framework  in India” and “ Moving Forward with a world class Mineral Policy for National Mineral Security” in 2015. He is also on the Board of Governors of the Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA).

He was commissioned by the Ministry of Rural Development to write a report on the “Restructuring of the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD)” in 2015, and chairs their committee on partnering with private sector to champion skill development. He is currently also chairing a taskforce on poverty reduction for a Provincial Government.