Meet the VC

WARN SINGH BOPARAI, Kirti Chakra, Padma Shri
A Brief Profile
Mr. Swarn Singh Boparai decorated with the most prestigious national awards Kirti Chakra and Padma Shri took over as Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala on August 28 ,2002. Mr. Boparai who was born on June 23, 1942, retired as Secretary, Planning Commission, Government of India on June 30, 2002.

During his long stint in the Indian Administrative Service he held many eminent positions beginning with Deputy Commissioner of Patiala and later of Ferozepur. It was as Deputy Commissioner of Ferozepur that Mr. Boparai received the Padma Shri award for distinguished service during 1971 Indo-Pak war. Soon thereafter in 1975 he was decorated with Kirti Chakra for act of conspicuous gallantry in a serious law and order situation created by Lal Kurti Dal in Ferozepur District in November 1973. The outlaws had killed fifteen persons and injured thirteen others and torched the village of Alamgarh. The action of Mr. Boparai resulted in a bloodless arrest of the culprits, 158 in number, armed with a deadly arsenal comprising handgrenades, firearms, swords, axes, etc. Kirti Chakra is equivalent of Mahavir Chakra for the armed forces and is awarded for meritorious acts of gallantry in civilian life.

Mr. Boparai is a seasoned administrator having held several important assignments. Among the most notable have been the organisation of India’s biggest International Exhibition ever held abroad resulting in the escalation of Indo-Russian trade by 2½ times in those years. As Secretary to the Government of Punjab he headed the Departments of Industry, Irrigation and Power, Health and Family Welfare, etc.

As Secretary Health, Government of Punjab Mr. Boparai was nominated by the Government of India for a major International award called SASAKAWA Award carrying a financial grant of $1,00,000 in 1988. The nomination was for a health programme called Mass Contact Programme started by him. This programme had increased efficacy of the health programme and had brought the urban and rural people closer to the Government of Punjab. This closeness helped alleviate the distance between the government and the people at the peak of terrorism in Punjab.

Mr. Boparai was also invited by WHO as an expert to prepare papers for consideration of World Health Assembly in 1988. He was the only Indian expert out of 32 experts called from all over the world.

Later Mr. Boparai served as Director General of Tourism from 1993 to 1995. In 1996 after promotion to the post of Secretary to the Government of India, Mr. Boparai headed such important Ministries as of Coal, Small Scale Industries, Food Processing Industries and Non-Conventional Energy Sources.

Mr. S.S. Boparai whose appointment has been hailed by the press as the right one at the right time, is the tenth Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala.