Bhubaneswar:” I wanted to be an actor in Tamil film” , discloses  R.Balakrishnan, the development commissioner and additional chief secretary to Odisha government who superannuated on Friday.

The former IAS officer said that he wanted to become a film actor or a journalist before joining the premier administrative service of the country. Balakrishnan, who has a brief stint as journalist, was going down the memory lane at the function organized for the release of his book, Abadha Padachinha, here on Friday.

The 1984 batch IAS officer said that his getting into Odisha cadre IAS has a strange reason. “My first choice of posting was obviously Tamil Nadu, my home state. The second preference was neighbouring state Karntaka. For the third choice, which should be in other region of the country, I ticked Odisha.”

” I then knew Odisha for two reasons: One is the majestic Konark temple and the other is the Sunabeda Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd. (HAL), which manufacturer of fighter plane engines,” he confided.  ” I read about these two places during my GK preparation for the IAS examination”, he confessed.

It was coincedenc, that Balakrishnan’s first posting was in Koraput district where the Sundbeda HAL factory is located. Not only that, later on he was posted as the secretary culture, the government department which deals with the the culture of the state including Konark temple.

The 1984-batch IAS officer is known as efficient and honest bureaucrat. Under his leadership, Odisha could host international sports events like Asian Athletics Championship in 2017 and World Cup Men’s Hockey in 2018. Odia language get recognisation as a classical language in the country. He is the architect of establishment of Odia University. With his initiatives the state government started the Knowledge Hub Lecturer Series to update the knowledge of the bureaucrats and political leaders. His pet project –The Virtual Academy, a digital library of books on Odisha’s litrature and culture, has started getting hits from all over the world.

Balakrishna, who is leaving for his home state Tamil Nadu next week, is going to finish his book on Indus Valley Civilization, which is going to be an magnum opus.

The former deputy election commissioner of India, however, is expected to return to Odisha to take over as the State Chief Election Commissioner in March 2019.