Marital Status: Married
Age: 60 Years
|Other names||• Siva Sankar M LinkedIn
• Sivasankar Nair Sivasankar Nair - Facebook
|Profession(s)||Civil Servant (IAS Officer)|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 173 cm
in meters- 1.73 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 8”
|Service||Indian Administrative Service (IAS)|
|Major Designation(s)||• Director and Under Secretary at the Civil Supplies Department (2001-2002)
• District Collector at the Department of District Administration and Land
• Revenue Management in Malappuram (2003-2008)
• Director at the Department of Public Instructions (2006-2008)
• Director at the Tourism Department (2008-2011)
• Director at the Agency for Non-conventional Energy & Rural Tech (ANERT) (2010-2011)
• Secretary and Joint Secretary at the Public Works Department (PWD) (May 2011)
• Secretary and Joint Secretary at the Department of General Education (2011-2012)
• Secretary and Joint Secretary at the Department of Tribal Welfare (2011-2012)
• Chairman at the Kerala State Electricity Board (2012-2016)
• Secretary and Joint Secretary at the Sports Department (2012-2016)
• Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan (2016-2017)
• Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan (2017-2020)
• Principal Secretary in the Department of Information & Technology (2017-2020)
|Date of Birth||24 January 1963 (Thursday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||60 Years|
|Birthplace||Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India|
|Hometown||Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India|
|College/University||• NSS College of Engineering, Palakkad, Kerala
• Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA), Gujarat Sivasankar Nair - Facebook
|Educational Qualification||• Bachelor of Technology in Instrumentation and Control Systems
• Post-graduation in rural management Kerala Tourism
|Address||Devadarsana, Katturoad, opposite Magic Academy, Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala|
|Controversies||• Accused of alleged involvement in the gold smuggling case
On 28 October 2020, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested M Sivasankar and accused him of having an alleged connection in the Kerala gold smuggling scam 2020. The gold smuggling scam hit the headlines on 5 July 2020 after 30 kg of gold worth 15 crores was seized by customs officials, which was concealed in one of the consignments at the Thiruvananthapuram international airport. Following capturing the gold, the officials arrested the former executive secretary of the UAE Consulate P Sarith Kumar, who was at the airport to collect the baggage, containing illegal gold; the baggage was addressed to the UAE Consulate in India. Sivasankar was charged under sections 3 and 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for allegedly helping the prime accused of the case Swapna Suresh. It was alleged that Sivasankar while serving as the Chairman of the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL) recommended Swapna Suresh for the post of business development manager in the organisation. In addition to it, Sivasankar, with the assistance of his charted accountant Venugopal Iyer, opened a joint bank locker with Swapna so that she could launder and smuggle the black money to the UAE. Hindustan Times In an interview, Sivasankar denied the rumours of assisting Swapna Suresh in the gold scam and said,
I was not aware of their gold smuggling dealings with Swapna. I never accepted their hospitality either at home or abroad."
The Kerala High Court passed the statement concerning M Sivasankar’s involvement in the case, which read,
The fact that the applicant was in constant contact with one of the prime witnesses, namely Swapna Suresh, and that he had even volunteered to help her by contacting his Chartered Accountant and asking him to assist her in managing her finances indicates that there is a fair possibility that applicant knew about the involvement of Swapna Suresh in the alleged smuggling activity."
• Arrested for association in the Dollar smuggling case
On 20 January 2021, Customs officials arrested Sivasankar for his alleged involvement in the Dollar smuggling case, which hit the headlines while investigating Kerala’s gold smuggling scam in 2020. Sivasankar was accused of aiding a former finance head of the UAE Consulate in Thiruvananthapuram in smuggling USD 1,90,000 (equivalent to Rs 1.30 crore) to Muscat in Oman. As per the charge sheet filed by the Customs Department, it was alleged that the money was seized from Sivasankar’s shared bank locker with Swapna Suresh, who was the prime accused in the gold smuggling case. As per some media sources, the illegal money recovered from the bank locker was the commission, which was entitled to Sivasankar for permitting the LIFE Mission contract; the LIFE Mission contract was a government scheme, which aimed at providing shelter to homeless people in Kerala. NDTV
• Controversy regarding publishing own autobiography
Sivasankar stirred controversy on 5 February 2022 with the release of his autobiography titled "Aswathamavu: Verum Oru Aana" (Aswarthamavu is just an elephant), which was published by the DC Books. In his autobiography, Sivasankar penned down the information regarding Kerala’s 2020 gold smuggling case, the investigation carried out by the Enforcement Directorate and the Customs officials, and his prison experience. Following the book’s release, Sivasankar was accused of breaking the UPSC service rules, which prohibit a serving bureaucrat to pen down any book based on biographies. In addition to this, Pinarayi Vijayan, Kerala’s chief minister alleged that Sivasankar had not taken any permission from him to publish the autobiography. ET Government
• Accused of accepting a bribe in the LIFE Mission project
M Sivasankar made headlines on 14 February 2023 after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his alleged association in granting the Livelihood Inclusion and Financial Empowerment Mission, also known as, the LIFE Mission project. The LIFE Mission project was an initiative of the government to provide shelter at Wadakkanchery in the Thrissur district of Kerala to the people, who lost their homes during the disastrous floods in 2018. The ED officials accused Sivasankar of receiving a bribe of Rs 1 crore for deliberately awarding the contract to the Unitac Builders & Developers, a construction company in Kerala. The Statesman
|Relationships & More|
|Wife/Spouse||• Name not known (doctor)
• Swapna Suresh Kerala Kaumudi
Some Lesser Known Facts About M Sivasankar
- M Sivasankar is a retired Indian Administrative Services (IAS) Officer. In 2017, he was appointed the principal secretary to Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala. Sivasankar hit the headline in 2023 when the Enforcement Directorate officials arrested him for allegedly accepting a bribe in granting the LIFE Mission project to a private construction company, Unitac Builders & Developers.
- Sivasankar supported the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) party during his college days. The Indian Express
- After completing his post-graduation from the Institute of Rural Management Anand, Sivasankar worked with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for some time.
- On 1 March 2000, Sivsankar joined the Communications & Information Technology Department as an undersecretary. Later, he was promoted to deputy secretary, where he served the post till June 2001.
- In June 2001, Sivasankar joined the Civil Supplies and Food & Public Distribution Department as an undersecretary. Later, he was promoted to the post of director, and he served in the same department till August 2002.
- In August 2002, Sivasankar was appointed as the joint secretary in the Department of Communications & Information Technology; he served in that capacity till September 2003.
- In September 2003, he was posted in Malappuram as the district collector in the Department of District Administration and Land Revenue Management.
- In 2006, Sivasankar joined the Public Instructions Department as a deputy secretary. Later, rose to the post of director and served in the same department till 2008.
- In April 2008, Sivasankar joined the Department of Tourism as a deputy secretary. Later, he held the post of director in the same department and served in that capacity till 2011.
- In May 2008, Sivasankar was appointed as the director of Kerala Tourism.
- In 2010, Sivasankar took training for the “Phase IV Programme of Mandatory Mid-Career Training for IAS Officers.”
- From 2010-2011, he assumed the office as Director of the Non-conventional Energy & Rural Technology Department.
- In 2011, Sivasankar served the Public Works Department (PWD) and Sports Department as a secretary.
- In 2012, Sivasankar held the post of secretary at the General Education Department and the Tribal Welfare Department.
- In 2012, Sivasankar joined the Kerala State Electricity Board and the Sports Department as the joint secretary. Later, he was promoted to the rank of chairman of the Kerala State Electricity Board, and he served in that capacity till 2016.
- In 2016, Sivasankar was appointed as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Pinarayi Vijayan, the 12th Chief Minister of Kerala. In 2017, he rose to the post of principal secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. The same year, he served the Department of Information & Technology as a principal secretary.
- During his stint as the principal secretary of the IT department, Sivasankar launched the Akshaya centres across Kerala, which aimed at providing basic knowledge about computer applications to encourage computer literacy in Kerala.
- On 7 July 2020, Sivasankar was removed from his post of principal secretary to Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan after he was alleged of having a connection in the 2020 gold smuggling case. However, he continued to serve as the principal secretary of the Department of Information Technology and Chairman of the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL). Sivasankar was accused of assisting the prime accused of the gold smuggling case Swapna Suresh and it was alleged that Sivasankar recommended her for the post of business development manager in the Kerala State Information Technology Infrastructure Limited (KSITIL) following which on 16 July 2020, Sivasankar was suspended for a year from his service. In October 2020, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials arrested him; he was released on bail on 3 February 2021 after spending 98 days in prison.
- Sivasankar’s suspension was cancelled by the chief minister’s office on 4 January 2022; he served the suspension period for approximately seventeen months. On 6 January 2022, he was reintroduced to service and was appointed as the secretary of the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs. Additionally, he was given charge of the Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Department.
- Sivasankar, in April 2022, requested the state government for Voluntary Retirement from Service (VRS). However, his plea was rejected as he was under investigation for the allegations made by the Customs and Enforcement Directorate officials. On 31 January 2023, Sivasankar retired from his service; his last appointment before retirement was as the secretary of the Sports and Youth Affairs Department.