KOLKATA, India – India Tea Board Chairman Shri M.G.V.K. Bhanu announced Sunday that he will return to Assam in the New Year.
“It is a wonderful experience here, but I am returning to Assam as my services are required there,’’ Bhanu told The Hindu Dec. 11. He made the announcement public at the general meeting of the Indian Tea Association Sunday.
It is not known who will replace him mid-way through a five-year appointment that began Nov. 14, 2011 and would have ended in Nov. 2016. His date of departure has not been announced.
Bhanu, who holds a Master’s degree in physics, was commissioned as an IAS officer in 1985 in the Assam-Meghalaya cadre. He spent several years with the Department of Space Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources. In the IAS he built a reputation as a successful deputy commissioner of north-central Assam’s Sonitpur district from 1994 to 1997. According to news account “he was able to clean up the district headquarters in Tezpur, without the local MLA Brindaban Goswami of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) standing in the way.” He is likely to return to Assam as principal secretary to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Bhanu’s unscheduled departure may delay several projects initiated during the last two years. During that time he established Tea Councils of North India and South India and Bhanu favors joining several regional bodies into a national tea auction.
Bhanu was well traveled outside India and served as vice-chairman of the International Tea Committee (ITC), a global tea body for development of the tea industry.
The IAS officer is also popular in the tea circuit across the globe speaking at many conferences and leading delegations to China, Sri Lanka, encouraging trade with Pakistan and Russia.