Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan's USA Visit 2004

Biography           Impact of Lok Satta          Intellectual Capital & Recognition       Chronology  

Positions          Invited to Speak On            Publications


Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is a physician by training, a public servant by choice, and a democrat by conviction. He was one of the first physicians to join the elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS), ranking fourth in the batch of 1980. He distinguished himself over the ensuing 16 years in many administrative roles in the Andhra Pradesh (AP),  a state of 70 million people in India, earning a solid reputation of being an outstanding IAS officer.

As the Collector (Chief Executive) of Prakasam district (three million population), Dr. Narayan was instrumental in building a lift irrigation system bringing 200,000 hectares into agriculture, the largest such program with direct participation of people anywhere in India. His painstaking efforts to improve the drainage system in Godavari Delta, as the Collector of East Godavari District, was later taken up as the World Bank assisted cyclone reconstruction project with great success.

Dr. Narayan played a key administrative role in AP as the Secretary to the Governor and to the Chief Minister. Later, as the Managing Director of the Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation, he designed plans for the development of the infrastructure of the port cities of AP, and masterminded a plan to rapidly develop Hyderabad into High-tech city.

Constrained by the government service in pursuing his ideals, Dr. Narayan at age 40 in 1996, resigned from the IAS and started The Foundation for Democratic Reforms (FDR), a non-partisan strategy building think-tank organization, to pursue constitutional and democratic reforms for good governance. Foundation for Democratic Reforms in India (FDRI), a U.S. based 501C(3) non-profit organization partially funds and augments the research of FDR. Dr. Narayan has also started Lok Satta (people power), a grassroots movement to impart positive pressure to institutionalise good governance.

Impact of Lok Satta

Apart from creating India’s largest base for a people’s movement in AP state, Lok Satta is engaged in building a national platform for democratic reforms through alliances with about 18 organizations in major states. What distinguishes Lok Satta from similar NGOs is its relentless strategic action on all fronts, cost effectively, until results are achieved. It seeks holistic solutions attacking root causes and strives for scalable solutions with national scope. Non-violent collective assertion is the tool for delivery.

 The five pillars supporting good governance are

  1. Comprehensive electoral reforms
  2. Empowerment of local governments
  3. Instruments of accountability
  4. Speedy and efficient justice
  5. Best practices: identification and implementation


  • Enactment of the Election Funding Reforms Bill, passed into law by Indian Parliament in September 2003 was largely the brainchild of Lok Satta. It wrote the provisions in 2001 followed by debate and lobbying for bipartisan support over the following two years.
  • March 2003 SC judgement directing electoral candidates to disclose their criminal antecedents, assets and liabilities and educational qualifications was a result of a long legal and legislative fight for Right to Information guaranteed by the constitution. 
  • A practical, localised solution to correct voter registration defects suggested by Lok Satta to designate the post office as a nodal agency for easy access to citizens has been accepted in November 2003 and will be implemented in coming months setting the stage for curtailing gross abuse of electoral rolls altering the will of the electorate. 


  • Lok Satta secured 10.6 million signatures in 53 days ending in October, which led to the state government conceding in November to devolve power to local bodies.
  • Lok Satta in collaboration with Co-operative Development Fund (CDF) effectively put a stop to the enactment of a restrictive Societies Law (in 2001) reversing it with an enabling legislation benefiting 165000 organizations across AP.


  • The Lok Satta People’s Charter and People’s Watch movement has forced the AP Government to release a Citizen’s Charter applicable to municipalities. For the first time in India, citizens claimed Rs.50/- day for delay in services instead of paying bribe.
  • In 2001, a three-year 100,000 volunteer training program was launched in A.P., for collective assertion and use of right to information as a tool to increase transparency.
  • Various anti corruption projects have been undertaken successfully


  • Lok Satta drafted a bill, in consultation with all stakeholders; to set up local courts cost effectively – one for 25000 people in rural areas and 50000 in urban areas.


  • Concomitant to the power sector reforms initiated, Lok Satta has successfully generated informed public debate on the issues plaguing power sector.
  • Lok Satta launched an awareness program for elected women representatives, helping them form federations in their respective districts.
  • An innovative and cost effective rural public health project (Dr. Arole model) is in the process of being implemented in 20 villages in AP with two partners.

Intellectual Capital and recognition

Cognizant to Dr. Narayan’s success in navigating Lok Satta to achieve steady and sustained results, several national and international bodies have invited him to share his insights.

Dr. Narayan was a member of the Commonwealth Team of Election Observers to Kenya (2002) overseeing the general elections and the first peaceful transfer of power in the African continent outside of South Africa.

Awards: “Rotary Manav Seva Award 2002” for his crusade against corruption and “Yudhvir Memorial Award” for 2002 for outstanding contribution to the cause of good governance.

Dr. Narayan has built up a massive intellectual capital in terms of essays, books and discussion papers apart from the regularly featured articles in prestigious national dailies. He hosts a weekly television show on current issues and governance matters.

For more details please visit: www.loksatta.org and www.fdri.org


April 2002

National Coordinator, LOK SATTA

Oct 1996

General Secretary, Foundation for Democratic Reforms

Oct 97 - Apr 2002

Campaign Coordinator, LOK SATTA

Sep 96

Resigned the appointment to the Indian Administrative Service to work for democratic reforms in India

Sep 95 - Sep 96

Vice Chairman & Managing Director, AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Ltd., Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh


Dec 94 - Sep 95

Secretary to Chief Minister, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh


Sep 93 - Dec 94

Secretary to Governor of Andhra Pradesh


Mar 91 - Sep 93

Managing Director of AP State Cooperative Bank and AP Cooperative Central Agricultural Development Bank, Hyd.


May 90 - Mar 91

Joint Secretary to Governor of Andhra Pradesh


Jan 90 - May 90

Managing Director, Andhra Pradesh Agro-Industries Development Corporation, Hyderabad


Apr 89 - Jan 90

Collector and District Magistrate, East Godavari District, Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh


Jun 86- Apr 89

Collector and District Magistrate, Prakasam District, Ongole, Andhra Pradesh.


Nov 84 - Jun 86

Joint Collector and Additional District Magistrate, Visakhapatnam; Special Officer, Visakhapatnam Steel Project. Held concurrent charges of Managing Director of a Co-operative Sugar Factory and Vice Chairman of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority.


Mar 83 - Nov 84

Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh


Sep 82 - Mar 84

Sub-Collector and Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Narsipatnam, AP



Assistant Collector, Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh



Training in the Lal Bahadur Sastry National Academy of Administration, Mussorie.


One of the top rankers of the 1980 Indian Administrative Service - Andhra Pradesh cadre. One of the first Physicians to be selected for the IAS.

Medical Education

Guntur Medical College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh



Andhra Layola College, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh


Early education

Godavarru, Krishna District in rural Andhra Pradesh, India

  • Member of AP Governments Task Force on Governance Reforms for Vision 2020
  • Member of the Advisory Panel on Parliamentary Democracy for the National  Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution.
  • Member of the GOI’s Reforms Committee of Republic 50 celebrations.
  • Member of the Advisory Council on Administrative Reforms constituted by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
  • Member of the Commonwealth Team of Election Observers to Kenya
  • Consultant to DFID on Governance Reforms

Invited to Speak On

  1. Liberty and State: Constitutional Values vs Colonial Instruments - organized by Mont Pelerin Society in Goa. 
  2. Promoting National Good Governance - organized by Sampradan-Indian Centre for  Philanthropy, Mumbai.  Electoral Reforms - Workshop organized by Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore
  3. Elections and Representational Legitimacy - workshop organized by Centre for Public Affairs, India International Centre and Konrad Adenauer Foundation, New Delhi. 
  4. Political and Economic Liberalization in India - seminar organized by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, New Delhi.
  5. Instruments of Accountability - workshop organized by DFID in New Delhi.
  6. Economic Reforms - organized by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Delhi.
  7. Empowerment of Local Governments - at All India Panchayat Adhyakshas Sammelan -organized by the Ministry of Rural Development in New Delhi
  8. Suggested Agenda for Administrative Reforms - advisory group meeting organized by The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Delhi.
  9. Constitutional Reforms - delivered the Sri Gutta Srirama Rao Endowment lecture at NALSAR, Hyderabad.
  10. NGOs and Political Parties: Competitors or Counterparts? - lead presenter at the Conference on “Targeting Human Rights, Rule of Law and Democracy, Perspectives for Non-Governmental Organizations” in Leipzig, Germany.
  11. Police Reforms - invited to participate in a roundtable organized by CHRI in New Delhi.
  12. Role sharing and collaboration between governments and NGOs for National
  13. Development - at Asia Pacific panel discussion organized by the Kataoka Research Institute Japan and International Institute for Administrative Sciences (IIAS) in New Delhi 
  14. Globalization, liberalization and poverty alleviation - organized by the government of Netherlands to commemorate 400 years of Indo-Dutch trade relations, Amsterdam.
  15. Key Note Address - at annual meeting organized by Indians for Collective Action (ICA)  in San Jose, USA.
  16. Representation of People Bill - to a group of parliamentarians organized by the Rajiv  Gandhi Foundation, New Delhi.
  17. Energy Environment and Development - at a Conference on India in the New Millennium, organized by Centre for International Development, Harvard University


Dr Jayaprakash Narayan spent a significant portion of the past two decades searching for solutions to the problems afflicting India. He produced many essays and books, and discussion papers, some of which are listed below:

India Crisis and Opportunity www.loksatta.org/crisis.pdf
Judicial Reforms  
www.loksatta.org/Jud Reform.pdf
Energy, Environment and Development  
www.loksatta.org/cit initiatives.pdf
Governance Reform-Vital First Step www.loksatta.org/Gov Reform.pdf
Citizen’s Initiatives in Elections www.loksatta.org/cit initiatives.pdf
Indian Constitution past experience and present concerns
www.loksatta.org/ind const.pdf
A review of the Indian Constitutional and political system
www.loksatta.org/ind pol.pdf
Constitutional Review- Overview 
www.loksatta.org/cons rev.pdf
Constitutional Review- Overview of Key Reform sectors www.loksatta.org/key ref.pdf
Federalism and Local Self Governance in India     
www.loksatta.org/fed and local.pdf
Federalism and Coalition Governments -The Indian Experience
www.loksatta.org/fed and coal.pdf
Policing in India –Challenges of the future www.loksatta.org/policing.pdf
Electoral Reform Goals
www.loksatta.org/elec goals.pdf
Civil Society and Governance www.loksatta.org/civil society.pdf
Women’s Reservation Bill- A remedy worse Than the Disease www.loksatta.org/remedy.pdf
Indian Elections-Campaign Finance Reform (Paper presented at National Seminar on Electoral Reforms, Calcutta) www.loksatta.org/ind elections.pdf
Tackling Corruption and Promoting Greater Accountability      
Liberty and State Constitutional Values Vs Colonial Instruments
Electoral Reforms (Workshop papers)   
www.loksatta.org/electoral reforms.pdf
Elections and Representational Legitimacy (Workshop papers)  
www.loksatta.org/rep legitimacy.pdf
Suggested Agenda for Administrative  Reforms at National Level 
Ensuring a Healthy Future www.loksatta.org/health.pdf
Indian Media-Great Power and Greater Responsibility www.loksatta.org/indianmedia.pdf