Meeta Rajivlochan is an IAS officer of the 1990 batch, Government of Maharashtra, currently dealing with Higher and Technical Education.

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What motivated you to join the Administrative Services? What drives you to serve the people of this country?

It seemed like an interesting job that also provided endless opportunities for understanding India. Experiencing things up close provides a different perspective from the textbook. Knowing that you can make a difference provides motivation.

Please tell us a bit about your literary endeavours.

It is my readings that have been literary. The writings have been strongly inclined towards being scientific in nature. Basically meaning that some of them are unreadable unless the reader makes an effort.Reading good literature helped me present my writings in a more readable form. Working on the book, Making India Great Again, allowed me to look at the many strengths Indians possess, some weaknesses and the leverage points that could take our country forward.

You have been extremely active in improving health services. What reforms do you think have already been made and what more needs to be done in the coming years?

A key reform that has been made is to use the economies of scale at the disposal of the government to make health services more affordable. Simply by making bulk purchases as per requirements, four years ago, in Maharashtra we were able to bring down the price of a stent used in heart procedures from Rs. 65000 to Rs. 23, 700 .

Now I think we need to pay closer attention to providing primary care to people. After all, if a person’s heart problem is detected early on and he or she could be asked to make lifestyle changes and eat simple medicines, they might not ever need hospitalization. Primary care can provide a substantive basis to universal health assurance to our people.

Do you feel that the urban poor of this country has been neglected?

I would disagree with that.
The urban poor in this country have been looked after as much or as less as the urban rich.
The basic point is that the Indian state, with its colonial moorings, is all about bossing over everyone and not providing any service to anyone. It might be fairer to say that the Indian state in general has not seen service to the people as a primary goal that subsumes others. Hopefully things will change for the better.

Have you been to Dehradun before? What are you looking forward to at the upcoming Valley of Words festival?

I have been to Dehradun a couple of times before as a tourist. What I am really looking forward to is meeting interesting people who have something of value to say and who are interested in the world of ideas.

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