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Vol. 6 | Issue 5 | Aug 2012

mks sundaram dm, gautam budh nagar (up)
‘Safety of women is our priority’
Known for his rapport with the public, MKS Sundaram, an IAS officer of the 1997 batch and the new District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, shares his experiences with gfiles
As the DM of Gautam Budh Nagar, more commonly known as Noida, what are the challenges you are facing and the measures you have taken to overcome them?
MKS Sundaram :There are several challenges as this is an urban area. The city is important not only nationally but also internationally, as many multinational companies have their offices and units here. Also, there are a large number of media companies based in the city. Traffic in the city is a key area of concern. We are now trying to introduce world-class systems with regard to traffic management. We are also seeking to educate the public about good traffic management.
There are charges that Noida is not safe for women and girls. Your views?
MKSS :We are setting up a control room that will be more like a call centre. Professionals will man this control room and distress calls received by it will be immediately attended to. The police are vigilant and our priority will be to handle law and order, with emphasis on the safety of women.
Why is the crime rate high in Noida?
MKSS :This probably becauseNoida is an affluent city. But, the police and the administration are taking effective measures to bring the crime rate down. 
What are the difficulties you faced when you joined the IAS?
MKSS :Initially, there was the problem of language since I had not studied Hindi at either in school or in college. So, it took me a year or more to understand the language properly. I used to listen carefully to what people were talking and I also used to see Hindi movies to get a better understanding of the language. Another problem I faced was political pressure. If my conscience did not allow me and I had to say ‘no’, I said as it. I gave reasons of my denial and after that, there was no political pressure.
You have written the book ‘Redefining Interviews’. Tell us something about it?.
MKSS :The book is a useful guide for civil service aspirants who have cleared the main examinations. The book contains basic information about how you have to know yourself first, your hobbies, hometown and education as the interview is based on these aspects only. The book also contains experiences of some well-known IAS officers. I have reported the experiences of almost 51 candidates, with whom I have had personal or telephonic interactions. Also, many aspirants for the civil services met me personally. In fact, the Chief Development Officer of Meerut district, Mrs Shubhra Saxena, says that she has benefitted from the book.
How much time did it take you to complete the book?
MKSS :It took me several years as I was not writing regularly.
One dream that you would love to realise?
MKSS :I should be remembered for good reasons. g 
(As told to Avantika Tyagi)
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