Dr. Ajay Kumar
(IAS: 1985. Kerala)

PhD in Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, USA. GPA  4.0/4.0. Dissertation– Agglomeration, Economic Interdependence and Information Technology: A Macroeconomic Perspective.
M.S. in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota, USA (GPA 4.0/4/0. Dissertation – A Multi-sector Trade Model with Integrated Manufacturing Sector.
B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. First class with distinction.
Date of Birth: 2nd October 1962
Key Experiences

  • Additional Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Ministry of Communications and IT, Government of India (July 2015- continuing)
  • Joint Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India (Dec 2010  – July 2015)

As the Joint Secretary in the Department of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India, currently responsible for promotion of Electronics Hardware Industry, Also responsible for multi-lateral engagement, including all matters relating to WTO and ITA, for Electronics and IT sectors. Also responsible for tax-related issues pertaining to these sectors.

Have to credit the revival of the nearly extinct electronics manufacturing in the country. Fresh investments in the sector have restarted and global industry is looking towards India as the new destination for electronics marketing. 

  • Principal Secretary/Secretary to the Government of Kerala, Information Technology Department, Trivandrum, Kerala (October 2007-December 2010)

Significant achievements include growth in IT investments in the State to three times national average during the period; upscaling  e-governance initiatives within Government; and several niche projects including mobile computing, cloud computing and open source computing. Received over 20 international and national awards for various  e-governance initiatives including Stockholm Challenge Award, National E-governance Awards, eIndia Awards, CSI-Nihilient Award, Manthan Award etc.

  • Secretary to the Government of Kerala, Industries Department, Trivandrum, Kerala (Nov. 1999 – Jan. 2003)

Focus areas included small and medium enterprises, food processing and rubber based industries. Specific achievements include launching cluster based approach for rubber industry with UNIDO’s help; launch of HACCP Centre for food processing industries, restructuring of public sector units.

  • Managing Director, Kerala State Electronic Development Corporation Ltd. (KELTRON), Trivandrum, Kerala (July 2000 – Jan 2003)

Revival of this sick mega corporation of Kerala through restructuring and re-engineering. Implemented the biggest VRS in the history of Kerala. Has been operating on profit ever since.  

  • Director/Deputy Secretary, NE Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India (May 1999-Nov 1999)

Several new initiatives including PM’s Package for North East, new modernisation of police forces scheme, non-lapsable pool, new Department of North East region, schemes for emotional integration of North East with rest of country, NE newsletter were started. These initiatives led to overall transformation of Government of India’s approach to North East.

  • Managing Director, Kerala State Agricultural and Rural Development Bank, Trivandrum, Kerala (Aug 1991-May 1992)

With professional management, the Bank achieved over 90% recovery. Was awarded the best bank award in its category by the Union Finance Minister.

  • Deputy Secretary, Finance, Govt of Kerala. (Oct 1989-May 1991)

Responsible for resource management, and budget development for Govt of Kerala.

  • Sub – Divisional Magistrate and District Magistrate, Government of Kerala, Tellicherry and Palghat(Sep 1985- Sep 1989; May 1992 –Dec 1994)

Received several distinctions for my work in the district including Silver Elephant from President of India for conduct of National Jamboree of Scouts and Guides, Citation from Prime Minister of India for implementation of Mahila Samridhi Yojana ( a women empowerment program) in the district; Outstanding Young Person by Junior Chamber of Kerala. Formulated and implemented Girivikas, a model for encouraging tribal children to education, which has since become benchmark project in tribal education in the state.

  • Instructor, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, USA (Sep 2004 – May 2007)
    Taught courses on Management of Information Technology to the Undergraduate students and Executive MBA students.  

International Negotiation Experience
First person from India to represent two separate structures in Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN), the Internet governance body for the world. Have been engaged with strategic discussion with ICANN on matters of mutual interests.

  • Member of Governmental Advisory Committee(GAC), ICANN (representing India) since 2013.
  • Elected Member of Address Support Organization(ASO), ICANN (representing Asia Pacific) 2015-2016.
  • Elected Member on Asia Pacific Network Information Centre, the Regional Internet Registry for Internet in Asia Pacific.2015-2016.

Am also leading Joint Working Groups with Japan and South Korea, for promotion of investments in electronics and ICT sectors.

During the course of previous assignments, I have been part of several international negotiation teams and working groups to discuss border trade, boundary disputes and other issues promoting mutual cooperation.

  • Chairman of Joint Working Group with Japan for promotion of investment in electronics and ICT sectors.
  • Member of the Indo-China Expert Group
  • Member of the Indo-Bangladesh Joint Working Group
  • Member of the Indian Border Security Force –Bangladesh Rifles, Director General level talks.
  • Member of the Indo-Myanmar Joint Working Group
  • Member of the Indo-Nepal Working Group


Have several publications in refereed national and international journals/conferences. A list of main publications is annexed.
Key Achievements and Awards

2015- Awarded prestigious Sarabhai award of India Elecronics Semiconductor Association for 2015 for contributions to promotion of Electroics design and manufacturing industry.

2014- Awarded Best paper in blind peer reviewed international conference. My co-authored paper “Gaming: the Logic of Corruption” with Prof Paul Johnson, University of Minnesota and Miguel Velasco awarded best paper at the World Business Ethics Forum (WBEF), held at University of Macau in Dec 2014.

2013- Awarded “Electronics Leader of the Year” for the year 2012,. This is most prestigious national award adjudged by independent jury from industry for promotion of electronics industry in the country.

2006- Awarded coveted Graduate School Fellowship by University of Minnesota

2004- Awarded coveted Graduate School Fellowship by University of Minnesota.

1999- Awarded the best project for the project titled  “An Action Plan for Municipal Administrators in India,” a report on Municipal Solid Waste Management as part of the Program on Energy, Environment Resources and Sustainability 1998-99 conducted jointly by International Institute on Sustainable Development, Canada and by TERI, India

1994- Awarded “Silver Elephant” medallion by National Scouts and Guides in 1994. This is the highest award for the National Scouts and Guides and was conferred by His Excellency the President of India. 

1994- Awarded a citation by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India in 1994. Was recognized for mobilizing rural women to enroll in a monthly savings program, “Mahila Samridhi Yojana.”

1994- Awarded the “Outstanding Young Person” by the Junior Chamber of Kerala in 1994.

Main Publications

Velasco, M., Kumar, A., Johnson, P.E. (2014). “Gaming: The Logic of Corruption”. World Business Ethics Forum, University of Macau., Dec 2014.
Kumar, A. (2013). “India the New Destination for LED Manufacturing.” LED World, Jan-Feb, pgs. 45-47
Kumar, A. (2012). “Giving Preference to Domestically Manufactured Electronic Goods.” Yojana. Sept., pgs. 57-60.
Kumar, A. (2012). “Need for an Electronic Development Fund to Promote Innovation and R&D in Electronics System Design and Manufacturing.” India &WTO. Jun-July (Vol .4). pgs. 11-19.
Kauffman, R.J., and Kumar, A. (2008e). “Understanding State and National Growth Co-movement: A Study of Shared ATM Networks in the United States,” Electronic Commerce and Research Applications, 7(1), pgs 21-43.

Kauffman, R. J., and Kumar, A. (2008d). “Impact of ICTs on Country Development: Accounting for Area Interrelationships,” International Journal of Electronic Commerce, 13(1), pgs. 11-58.

Kauffman, R. J., and Kumar, A. (2008c). “Network Effects and Embedded Options: Decision-Making  Under Uncertainty for Network Technology Investments,” Information Technology and Management, 9(3), pgs. 149-168.
Kauffman, R. J., and Kumar, A. (2008b). “Mapping the Multi-tiered Impacts on the Growth of IT Industries in India: A Combined Scale-and-Scope Externalities Perspective,” International Journal of Information Technology for Development, 14(3), pgs. 225-252.
Kauffman, R. J., and Kumar, A. (2008a). “On the Company We Keep: Combined Scale-and-Scope Externalities in the Growth of IT Industry Co-agglomerations,” In R. Sprague (ed.), Proc. 41st Hawaii Intl. Conf. Sys. Sci., January, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, CA
Kauffman, R. J., and Kumar, A. (2007c). “The New Economic Geography of IT Industries: The Impacts of the Internet on their Market Linkages and Agglomeration,” In Proc. 28th International Conference of Information Systems., December, Montreal, Canada.
Kauffman, R. J., and Kumar, A. (2007b). “Modeling network decisions under uncertainty: countervailing externalities and embedded options.” In R. Sprague (ed.), Proc. 40th Hawaii Intl. Conf. Sys. Sci., January, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, CA.  
Kauffman, R. J., and Kumar, A. (2007a). “Scale and scope externalities in the growth of IT industries in India: An Agglomeration Perspective.” In R. Sprague (ed.), Proc. 40th Hawaii Intl. Conf. Sys. Sci., January, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, CA.
Kauffman, R.J., and Kumar, A. (2006). “A Combined Scale-And-Scope Theory of IT Industry Cluster Growth.”  In the Proceedings of the 2006 IEEE International Society for Engineering Management Conference, in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, September 17-20, 2006, IEEE Computing Society, Los Alamitos, CA, in press.
Kumar, A. (2003). “E-Government and Efficiency, Accountability and Transparency.” Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries. 12. Available on the Internet at www.ejisdc.org.
Harris, R., Kumar, A., and Balaji. V. (2003). “Sustainable Telecenters? Two Cases from India.” Information and Communication Technologies for Development—Development Gateway. www.developmentgateway.org/node/133831/sdm/docview?docid=442648.
Kumar A. (November 29-30, 2001). “Bridging the Digital Divide: Some Efforts from Kerala,” in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Technologies, Communications and Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kumar, A. (September 3-7, 2001). “Knowledge and Decision-making: Some Examples from Kerala,” Plenary Talk at the Second Meeting of  the Committee on Development Information (CODI) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Adis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Kumar, A. (June 27-29, 2001). “Interconnectivity for an Enhanced Information Infrastructure in Asia.” In the Proceedings of the 10th Annual AMIC Conference: Asia’s Infocomm Future—Building Core Values, Competence and Capacity, Manila, Philippines, 659.3(5) AMIC Information; Asia C SG-AMIC, 2001-10-26. This paper is available for download from the Internet at the following URL: