This is a brief bio-graph of Late Dr. R S Tolia :
Born in Dehra Dun, on 15 November, 1947, Dr. R S Tolia passed away on December 6, 2017 while he was enjoying third innings of his career and apart from heading Centre for Public Policy Doon University as NTPC Chair Professor he devoted most of his time to Mountain Development agenda as founding President of Integrated Mountain Initiative ( IMI). He also served as a member of a few mountain development related committees of Planning Commission.
In the second innings of his career he headed Uttarakhand Information Commission as its Chief Information Commissioner (18th October 2005 – October 2010). His five – year term of Chief Information Commissioner, Uttarakhand Information Commission (2005 – 2010) has been a highly successful one where he has activated the Commission in a pro–citizen-centric way.
He completed first innings of his career as Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand ( 2003-2005 ). During his 35 years of service in Uttar Pradesh, Government of India and Uttarakhand he has held posts related to rural, industrial and mountain development. He was closely involved with Operation Flood, consolidating Amul pattern in co-operative dairying and he was the founding Rural Development Commissioner of Uttar Pradesh. As the Hill Development Secretary, he was closely involved with the development of the 8 mountain districts, before the bifurcation of the state in 2000.
His involvement with training sector has been long and very productive; as Director of the UP Academy of Administration for more than five years ( 1995-2000 ), he was instrumental in formulation of National Training Policy and qualitative improvement in the training sector; and as Director of the State Institute of Rural Development, Bakshi Ka Talab, he supervised and activated the rural development training infrastructure.
His areas of interest include training, mountain and rural development and historical research and writing. As Hill Development Secretary he was Convenor of the ( Kaushik ) Cabinet Committee on formation of Uttarakhand and was later designated in charge of formation of the new Capital and Swearing in Ceremony of the newly formed Government of Uttaranchal in 2000. During this period Tea Development efforts in the mountain regions were revived and today Uttarakhand boasts of more than 500 hectares of best organic tea gardens. During the formative years of the newly carved hill state ( 2000-2005) he was instrumental in establishing a whole range of commodity and service Boards e.g. Medicinal & Herbal Development Board, Organic Commodities Board, Bio-fuel Board, Bamboo and Fiber Board, Livestock & Fodder Development Board, Sheep & Wool Development Board and Service Agencies like Organic Certification, Seed Certification etc. Many of these have proved to be trend-setters in the field of livelihood promotion in the mountain tracts, or model for Public Private Partnership initiatives.
Dr. R. S. Tolia belongs to Scheduled Tribe (Bhotia) of Uttarakhand. He has worked in the Scheduled Caste and Backward Caste Division (SCBCD), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India for two years when this Division used to look after the welfare of the Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes and matters related to Protection of Civil Rights Act during 1981 – 83. He was intimately involved in the review and monitoring of Special Component Plans (SCP) of the North Indian states from Jammu & Kashmir to West Bengal and toured northern states in connection with atrocities on SC / STs and Special Component Plans & Tribal Sub Plans. He has intimate knowledge of the difficulties and problems related to the Scheduled Caste, Backward Classes and Tribals. He was selected to hold the post of Secretary to Government of India in the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in 2005 but due to his selection by the Government of Uttarakhand as the first Chief Information Commissioner of Uttarakhand Information Commission he could not join as Secretary Tribal Affairs. Dr. Tolia is available for any suitable assignment related to the development of Scheduled Tribes or Scheduled Castes in a senior capacity.
He traveled extensively in South Asian, Far Eastern, European and North American countries, in connection with his official assignments and published follow-up literature. He has left behind a substantial number of useful literatures, all related to the subjects, wherever he happened to be posted. In Uttar Pradesh Registrar Cooperative Societies, Rural Development Commissioner, State Milk Board, Provincial Co-operative Dairy Federation ( PCDF ) and State Institute of Rural Development ( SIRD ) have a sizeable number of publications which are by way of Process Manuals, Hand Books, Directories and Permanent Circulars in Compendium form. In Uttarakhand the UP/Uttarakhand Academy of Administration has published a series of Studies, Monographs, Surveys, Workshop, Status Papers and Re-prints of valuable official records, Memorial Lectures as reading material for the Officer–Trainees and participants of training events. He regularly contributes articles on public administration, mountain and rural development, training and now on various aspects related to the RTI.
His trilogy of three books ( i ) Food For Thought and Action, ( ii ) Patwari, Gharat and Chai, and ( iii ) Inside Uttarakhand Today, are real time/on-line account of various events and initiatives which were taken in this new State ( 2000-2005), a unique case of current history, as it were. His two books on administrative history of Uttarakhand, ( i ) Some Aspects of Administrative History of Uttarakhand, and ( ii ) Founders of Modern Administration in Uttarakhand ( 1815-84), constitute a set of two books, which would serve the purpose of a Primer for all future administrative officers and public representatives as well as research scholars. As Chief Information Commissioner Uttarakhand, Dr. Tolia produced a Hand-book for Public Information Officers which has proved useful as a working manual, as well as a training material to be used by training institutions; its Hindi version proved useful for citizens and other stakeholders in equal measure. Besides these, the Uttarakhand Information Commission has brought out as many as 23 publications on various aspects dealing with the Right to Information Act implementation.
Dr. Tolia was engaged in various capacities with many multilateral, academic & civil society organizations like International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development ( ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal, Sir Ratan Tata Trust ( SRTT), Mumbai, TERI, Kumaon University, CHEA, Association of British Scholars India, NIAR.
Dr. Tolia was M.Sc.( Mathematics), M.A. and Ph..D. in History. He completed a PG Course in Rural Social Development from University of Reading, United Kingdom ( Colombo Plan).,