SHRI GOPAL K. PILLAI,
UNION HOME SECRETARY AND SECRETARY (JUSTICE)
31 OCTOBER 2009
The 5th General K. S. Thimayya Memorial Lecture was held on Saturday, October 31, 2009 at the Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton Auditorium, Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bangalore at 11:00 a.m. and was delivered by Gopal K. Pillai, IAS, Union Home Secretary on “India’s Internal Security: Challenges & Responses”.
G. K. Pillai is a 1972-batch Kerala cadre IAS officer, who concurrently serves as the Secretary, Department of Justice, Ministry of Law & Justice, has earlier held plum postings as the Commerce Secretary, the Director General for Foreign Trade, Chairman of the Board of Approval for SEZs & EOUs and India’s Chief Negotiator at the WTO. He was appointed Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India in June 2009. One of three brothers to have studied at BCBS, Mr. Pillai passed out from Cottons in 1964 and went to Pope House.
A packed audience of senior officers from the Services, IAS, IFS, IPS and other walks of public life, Old and present Cottonians, Principals and staff were privy to an extraordinary and exhaustive presentation on unknown facets of India’s internal security and its underlying dynamics. The first-hand account of Mr Pillai’s experiences in the North-East, particularly in Manipur, made for an anthropologist’s delight! The wide canvas of information that was on offer was fully churned during the interactive session that followed, with a wide array of comments and questions that were masterfully (and candidly) fielded by the speaker. Fellowship followed over lunch at the Bangalore Club.
Earlier, Mr. S. M. Acharya, IAS (Retd.) formerly Secretary, Department of ex-Servicemen Welfare, Ministry of Defence and Old Cottonian, introduced Mr Pillai with vignettes of his memories of the speaker, having known him not only in School but indeed through the Service. Colonel John Ellis (Retd.), Principal of BCBS delivered a warm and uplifting Welcome Address. Lt. Gen. Avadhesh Prakash, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, Military Secretary and Colonel of the Kumaon and Naga Regiments was meant to deliver the Introductory Remarks, but was sadly constrained to cancel his visit at the eleventh hour owing to his brother’s severe illness. However, the text of his finely-crafted speech was read out to the guests and is available here.
Colonel John Ellis, Principal of Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bangalore, Family members of late General K.S. Thimayya, Patrons, former Speakers, Trustees, Cottonians, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen. Continue reading “2009: G.K.Pillai on “India’s Internal Security: Challenges & Responses””