Shri Vinai Kumar SaxenaLIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena took over as the 22nd Lieutenant Governor of Delhi on 26th May 2022. Shri Saxena comes with over three decades of vast experience in the corporate and social sectors and is the first corporate man ever selected for such gubernatorial post.
Prior to his appointment as the LG of Delhi, Shri Saxena served as the Chairman of Khadi & Village Industries Commission (KVIC) from October 2015 to May 2022. At KVIC, Shri Saxena diversified the Khadi and village industry sectors, employed scientific techniques and implemented several innovative projects that brought about a sea change in the lives of the Khadi artisans and strengthened several allied industries. Read More
Born on 23rd March 1958 in an educated and reputed family of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Saxena graduated from Kanpur University in 1981 and holds a Pilot Licence. His leadership abilities on a diverse range of social and corporate matters fusioned with technical, legal, social and cultural skills make him a philanthropist in vision and corporate scientist in action. With his business leadership on a diverse range of corporate matters such as industries, MSMEs, petroleum and ports - fusioned with technical, legal, social and cultural skills, Shri Saxena has always led from the front in every issue related to social development like water resource development, fighting the social malpractices, disaster management support or clean development of the city space.
Shri Saxena started his career as an Assistant Officer in Rajasthan with JK Group and having worked for 11 years in different capacities with its White Cement plant, he was elevated in 1995 as General Manager to look after the proposed Port Project in Gujarat. He then rapidly rose to become the CEO and later elevated as Director of the Dholera Port Project.
In October 2015, Shri Saxena was appointed as the Chairman of KVIC not only explored the untapped streams of Khadi and Village Industries, but also implemented many innovative schemes like 'Honey Mission', 'Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana' and ‘Leather Artisans’ Empowerment Scheme’ – that brought about a sea change in the lives of the poor and the marginalized. Shri Saxena was instrumental in the innovation of Plastic-mixed Handmade Paper and Khadi Prakritik Paint – India’s first wall paint made of cow dung – for which he got patent certification.
Compared to the year 2015-16, when Shri Saxena took the reins of KVIC and through the next six-and-half years, he steered Khadi from neglect to global fame and made it the most recognizable and acceptable Indian brand worldwide. Under Shri Saxena’s leadership, KVIC’s turnover registered a massive growth of 248% while a whopping 43 lakh new employment were created in less than 7 years. It was during the tenure of Shri Saxena, that KVIC, for the first time, clocked a historic turnover of Rs 1.15 lakh crore in 2021-22, the highest by KVIC and by any FMCG company in India so far. Shri Saxena successfully ensured the distribution of 55,000 New Model Charkhas and 11,000 modern looms, which is a record itself in the history of Khadi Commission.Read Less
Almost everyone has eyes, but only a few have vision! On 17th May 2008, an Indian found that the statue of the Mahatma Gandhi was placed on the second floor near an Ice Cream Parlour, close to a dustbin - instead of the wing where the statues of other illustrious world leaders were exhibited at London's Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. The man raised the issue and wrote a letter to the then British Prime Minister Mr. Gordon Brown, stating, "Is this not a paradox that the memory of the man who rallied world attention on the evil of apartheid in South Africa over a century ago is now subjected to the same scandalous contempt that we thought the world has overcome? Is this not a racial bias against India and its role models of historic reverence?" Taking cognizance of this letter, an apology was offered by the Museum office, and the Mahatma’s statue was immediately shifted to the 'World Leaders' Exhibition' hall at the ground floor.
Incidentally, that man with the vision Vinai Kumar Saxena – was appointed as the Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) – an organisation meant to fulfil Bapu’s dreams of rural resurgence (Gramodaya) through the Gandhian philosophy.
Having been appointed as the Chairman of KVIC in October 2015, Shri Saxena not only explored the untapped streams of Khadi and Village Industries, but also implemented many innovative schemes like 'Honey Mission', 'Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana' and ‘Leather Artisans’ Empowerment Scheme’ – that brought about a sea change in the lives of the poor and the marginalized. Shri Saxena was instrumental in the innovation of Plastic-mixed Handmade Paper and Khadi Prakritik Paint – India’s first wall paint made of cow dung – for which he got patent certification.
Compared to the year 2015-16, when Shri Saxena took the reins of KVIC and through the next six-and-half years, he steered Khadi from neglect to global fame and made it the most recognizable and acceptable Indian brand worldwide. Under Shri Saxena’s leadership, KVIC’s turnover registered a massive growth of 248% while a whopping 43 lakh new employment were created in less than 7 years. It was during the tenure of Shri Saxena, that KVIC, for the first time, clocked a historic turnover of Rs 1.15 lakh crore in 2021-22, the highest by KVIC and by any FMCG company in India so far. Shri Saxena successfully ensured the distribution of 55,000 New Model Charkhas and 11,000 modern looms, which is a record itself in the history of Khadi Commission.
Following the clarion call of 'Sweet Revolution' given by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on December 10, 2016, while introducing Banas Honey project at Deesa in Banaskantha district of Gujarat, Shri Saxena drafted a programme named 'Honey Mission' and launched in August 2017 from the Rashtrapati Bhawan. After that, the KVIC started identifying the farmers, Adivasis, women and unemployed youths across the nation and right from dense forest areas of Assam to tribal belt of Narmada Valley and from hilly valleys of Jammu & Kashmir to Gangetic plains of Varanasi - it left no breadth and length of the nation in distributing Bee-boxes with live bee-colonies. In his regime as Chairman KVIC, nearly 1.70 lakh Bee-Boxes were distributed between 2017 and 2022. Apart from its mandate of creating employment and increasing honey production, the Honey Mission did a far greater benefit to the environment by adding 9000 million bees in the nature.
Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana
Before 2015, nobody had even contemplated that the potter community (Kumhar) would have a day until the Hon’ble Prime Minister felt the need for empowering this community and reconnecting them with the mainstream of development. It was the KVIC Chairman, who took personal initiative to draft the ambitious Kumhar Sashaktikaran Yojana to uplift the socio-economic condition of this marginalized community and fulfil the dream of the Hon’ble PM. Comprehensive training to potters and distribution of 25,000 Electric Potter Wheels and other pottery apparatus led to a manifold increase in their production and income and thus a sea change ushered in the lives of the potters under the guidance of Shri Saxena. He contacted several government and non-government bodies including Indian Railways - to provide a better marketing canvass to the potters. As a result, over one lakh jobs were created for the potters’ community in less than 3 years.
Leather Artisans’ Empowerment Scheme
Next in the line was a first-of-its-kind ‘Leather Artisans’ Empowerment’ scheme in the country that not only brought out Shri Saxena’s humanitarian side but also assumed great social significance for the cobbler (Mochi) community. He rechristened this extremely marginalized community into a more dignified name of “Charm Chikitsak”. They were provided with modern toolkits and their workplace on the roadside was named as “Joote Chappalon ka Beauty Parlor”. He also opened two footwear training centres for leather artisans, the first of its kind facility, at Delhi’s Rajghat and Varanasi.
It was none other than Shri Saxena, who took Khadi from local to global and from big cities to remotest parts of the nation - be it sleepy kraal-dominated hamlets of Leh-Ladakh region, Mishing tribes' villages of Kaziranga, tiger-widows' refuge in Bali island of Sunderban Delta in West Bengal or tribal-dominated areas of Narmada Valley. In all these places, spinning and weaving activities changed the lives of the poorest of the poor who were, since Independence, completely untouched by any government agency.
As many top economies of the world crippled under the Covid-19 pandemic, Shri Saxena turned the crisis into an opportunity in India with production of its globally-acclaimed Khadi face masks. Scientifically tested, skin-friendly and biodegradable Cotton and Silk face masks at an affordable price not only became the most effective tool of fighting Corona disease but also saved thousands of Khadi artisans from economic distress by providing self-employment
Under Shri Saxena’s leadership, KVIC created nearly 43 lakh jobs through its various schemes in six-and-half years. This included 37 lakh jobs under PMEGP, 3 lakh jobs in Khadi sector, 1.25 lakh under Kumhaar Sashaktikaran Yojana and 50,000 under Honey Mission since 2015-16.
- On 5th March 2021, the Government of India appointed Shri Saxena as one of the Members of the National Committee to Commemorate the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence. This Committee is headed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister and comprises former President, former Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister, Governors, Chief Ministers and others as members.
- In November 2020, Shri Saxena was nominated as a Member of the High Powered Padma Awards Selection Committee for the year 2021 by the Government of India. The Committee is responsible for scrutinizing the nominations received for Padma Awards.
- On 9th September 2020, Shri Saxena was nominated a Member of the “Research Council” of Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology. Research Council is the topmost decision making body of the institute with the mandate of boosting bio-economy through sustainable utilization of Himalayan bio-resources and with the mission to discover, develop and commercialize processes and products from Himalayan bio-resources using cutting-edge science and technology.
- March 18, 2019, the Hon'ble President of India, in his capacity as Visitor of the University, nominated Shri Saxena as a "Member of University Court" of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, for three years. This is the Highest Body of this Institution.
- From 2016 to 2020, Shri Saxena was nominated every year by the Hon'ble Prime Minister as one of the Members of the 'Empowered Committee' for evaluation of "Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Public Administration". This High-Powered Committee is headed by the Cabinet Secretary and the other members are Additional Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, CEO Niti Aayog and Secretary Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances.
- September 2017: Conferred with 2017 Luxury League Award for his contribution in promotion of brand 'Khadi' in India and abroad.
- May 2008: “International felicitation” by United Nations Decade of Sustainable Development (UNDESD), UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP in association with International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), USA, (UN NGO) and Social Organisation for Health – Human & Management (SOHAM) for “Outstanding Contribution to Environment Protection and Water Security”.
- May 2007: Won “Dubai International Award” constituted by UN-HABITAT for best practices to improve living environment in Ahmedabad City through his project Mission ENDURE (ENsuring DUst REduction) which was first of its kind and size in the Country launched by any NGO to reduce dust pollution with public participation.
- July 2000: In recognition of his activities related to water security in Coastal Bhal region of Gujarat, UNESCO invited him to attend a Workshop on ‘Wise Coastal Practice for Sustainable Human Development’. Project successfully solved the problem of non-availability of fresh water in the Bhal region.
- April 2000: Selected by the “Third World Network of Scientific Organisation”, Italy as one of the four referees for evaluation of an important Joint Research Project at Yemen titled “Characterization an Environmental Prioritisation of the Coastal region in the state of Yemen.”
In the six eventful decades of his life, Shri Saxena has been a jet-setting corporate leader, a vociferous social crusader, an ardent environmentalist, a committed water-conservationist and an articulate votary for integrated and sustainable development. In 1991, he founded his acclaimed NGO, National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) with its HQ at Ahmedabad. NCCL is a non-profitable multi-dimensional social organization registered under the Societies Act and recognized by the Ministry of Law & Justice (Dept. of Company Affairs), Govt. of India. Under the stewardship of Shri Saxena, NCCL has actively taken up several issues of national importance against monolithic Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Private Companies, Central or State Govts., creating awareness against in justice, stopping unfair trade practices, exposing myths – taking up the issues with the appropriate authorities or courts of law – till their logical conclusions.
On 21.11.2014, NCCL launched its new Project “Rainbow Hills” from village Vanaj in Sabarkantha district of Gujarat for re-constructions/repairs and modernization of tribal houses in the picturesque Adivasi Vanaj village which is situated on a small hillock facing a huge lake. The 12 selected houses in village Vanaj, were constructed by the Adivasis using mud for walls and local wood for ceiling. These dilapidated dusty houses were in unhealthy conditions to live in. NCCL completed repair and reconstruction of these 12 houses in a record period of 3 months. Under the scheme, repairing of walls, floor, roof, Verandas, etc. were done including Construction of toilets. The aim of the scheme was to provide basic amenities to the poor Adivasis, without disturbing their lifestyle, traditions and surroundings. These Adivasis are also guided to rent out one room in these neatly re-constructed houses to the tourists interested in eco-tourism to generate income for them.
In the year 2018, this successful social experiment was replicated in Admapur Village of Varanasi. NCCL renovated 6 dilapidated mud houses of the village into concrete houses at the cost of Rs 1 lakh per unit.
To make the city of Ahmedabad dust free, NCCL in July 2004, launched an ambitious project called Mission ENDURE (ENsuring Dust REduction). Mission ENDURE was the first ever endeavour of its kind and size in the country in which an NGO was promoting a practical, positive and participatory solution to reduce dust pollution in a large city like Ahmedabad. This eco-friendly scheme not only reduced dust pollution but also allowed rainwater to recharge the aquifer. Mission ENDURE has won Dubai International Award instituted by UN-HABITAT. NCCL was selected for this award from 650 entries from 140 countries. This project was showcased at World Urban Forum for Worldwide emulation.
NCCL took up the job of deepening of silted village ponds with local people’s participation in 13 villages of driest Bhal region of Gujarat during the year 1999 – 2000. Two to three meters silt was removed from the ponds which helped store enough rain water for the entire year. NCCL also supplied free water in remote villages of Bhal region of Gujarat every year since 2001 till 2005.
A severe Earth Quake hit Gujarat on 26th January 2001. NCCL took the assistance from a well-known organization “Earth Center” Hyderabad, having expertise in analyzing satellite images, to study the impact of earthquake on SSP through satellite imageries. Shri Saxena was also involved in Water Resource Planning and Water Shed Management for Gujarat & Rajasthan. To catalyze the process of deeper scientific understanding of environmental matters by very competent Indian and foreign Scientists, NCCL commissioned a study in the year 2003 called “Trishna” for bringing unutilized water to the parched areas of Gujarat & Rajasthan.
Shri Saxena’s immense social and legal efforts in keeping at bay the vested interests that tried to disrupt the good work of Sardar Sarovar Project are also highly regarded in Gujarat, MP and Rajasthan. There are dozens of examples of his ingenuity-be it in the domain of water resource development, fighting the social malpractices, disaster management support or clean development of the city space. Any instance of anti-Development campaign will find him fighting it tooth and nail through a combination of technical, legal, social and cultural skills. Likewise, any instance of social development will find him drawn to its principle like metal to a magnet.
Plastic-mixed Handmade Paper
Under the guidance of Shri Saxena, KVIC, in September 2018, innovated a unique way to reduce plastic menace, under its project REPLAN (REducing PLAstic from Nature). Its unit Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI), Jaipur, developed handmade paper by mixing up to 20% plastic waste with the paper pulp to make cost-effective paper carry bags and other items. This innovation ideated by Shri Saxena, got Patent certificate in August, 2021. The patent certificate was issued to KVIC’s Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute (KNHPI), Jaipur, on August 2, 2021, by the Controller of Patent, Intellectual Property of India. The idea of developing plastic-mixed handmade paper was invented by KVIC’s then Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena. This is the first of its kind project in India, where plastic waste is de-structured, degraded, diluted and used with paper pulp while making handmade paper and thus reduces plastic waste from nature.
In just 02 years of its launch, KNHPI consumed nearly 50 MT of waste plastic from Jaipur city. KVIC is selling envelopes and carry bags made of plastic-mixed handmade paper online. All Khadi India outlets are also using plastic-mixed handmade paper carry bags to deliver goods to customers. This also resulted in revival of a defunct KNHPI that became a self-sustainable unit and created employment in handmade paper industry.
Khadi Prakritik Paint
KVIC, after years of research, developed India’s first distemper and emulsion paint made from cow dung which was named “Khadi Prakritik Paint”. The cow dung paint was invented by KVIC’s then Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxana and launched on 12th January 2021, got the patent certificate on………. Khadi Prakritik paint is eco-friendly, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, cost-effective, non-toxic product and free from heavy metals. This paint contains low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC). Khadi Paint is developed by Kumarappa National Handmade Paper Institute, Jaipur (A Unit of KVIC). KVIC is purchasing cow dung from local farmers and Gaushalas at the rate of Rs 5 per kg and thereby creating extra income for farmers and the cow owners.