Aditya Nath Jha

Aditya Nath Jha (18 August 1911 – 1972) of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan in 1972 in the civil services category. He belonged to the 1936 batch of the ICS.[2]

Aditya Nath Jha
Born18 August 1911[1]
Ayachi Nagar, Sarisab Pahi, Madhubani District, Bihar
OccupationICS Officer
AwardsPadma Vibhushan

Jha was the son of Sir Ganganath Jha, and the brother of Shri Amarnath Jha, a scholar of English and Sanskrit and former vice-chancellor of Allahabad University. Educated at Allahabad University, he entered the ICS on 16 September 1936, completing his ICS probationery training at Jesus College, Oxford. He served in the United Provinces as an assistant magistrate and collector before transferring to the Indian Political Service in November 1939. At the time of independence, he was secretary to the Resident for the Eastern Princely States.[1]

Post-independence, Jha served as Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, as the first director of the National Academy of Administration, Mussorie, Secretary to the Government of India and first Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

Jha was known for his administrative acumen and his wide-ranging knowledge of cultures and languages. Descended from a family of Sanskrit scholars, Jha was a fluent Sanskrit speaker. While serving as Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh he was also concurrently Vice Chancellor of the Sanskrit University in Varanasi.

Early life and educationEdit

Jha was son of Sir Ganganath Jha and brother of Dr. Amarnath Jha who had been the Vice Chancellor of the Allahabad University, and then the Chairman of the Bihar Civil Service Commission.

He was educated at Allahabad University and Jesus College, Oxford. He served as Vice Chancellor of the Sanskrit University, Benares. He wrote a book on Indian philosophy titled ‘'Bharatiya Darshanon ka Samanvay. He was an avid tennis player both in India and at Oxford University, where he was an ICS probationer. He joined as an Indian Civil Service (ICS) officer in 1936.

He served as Assistant Magistrate and Collector before transferring to the Indian Political Service in 1939. At the time of Independence, he was serving as secretary to the Resident for the Eastern Princely States.

Post-Independence, he served as the first Director of National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie from 1959- 1962. He was Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, and later an Additional Secretary to Government of India, in the Planning Commission. Then,in the mid-1960s, he served as Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Between 1966-1972 he was the first Lt. Governor of Delhi. He was a recipient of the Padma Vibhushanin 1972 in the civil services category.

Tenure as Director, National Academy of AdministrationEdit

He was selected as the Director of Academy by former Home Secretary of India, Shri B. N. Jha. He contributed multiple books on philosophy and literature to the library (the famous Gandhi Smriti Library) at academy.[3]

Grooming to be 'Gentleman-civil servant' along the lines of an ICS officer was very much part of the process of training an IAS officer and there was even a manual for proper conduct. This training period is an impressionable part of the life of an IAS officer and some of the Directors became a legend with their students like the ICS officer, Aditya Nath Jha who was a Director in the early 1960s.

A. N. Jha was remembered by many to have a charismatic and witty personality.

In the book Bureaucracy – Growth and Development, 1997, U.C Mandal writes, autobiography titled There is no doubt that the Director in the early 1960s, A.N Jha(ICS, UP) was very popular with probationers and also very broadminded and relaxed about discipline at the Academy. 'Jha was wonderful; he would stroll out on to the lawn, have four or five chairs brought, sit down and call passing probationers over to sit and chat about a wide variety of subjects in an informal way; he 'had fine sense of humour and was very cultured'’. When two probationers got drunk and fought in Kulri market with bottles and chairs and tables causing Rs 12,000 damages , a shopkeeper called on Jha demanding reparation; to his surprise, Jha said 'there was no question of any action taken against boys as they were like children to him; as for money, Jha claimed that only dogs and probationers were in Mussoorie at that time of the year(winter), so whatever profit the shopkeepers were making was only from his probationers- hence there was 'no question of payment'.

External Links and booksEdit

  • Page 30-31 Without Fear or Favour-An autobiography, Joginder Singh, Fusion Books, 2005.
  • Page 30-31- an excerpt from the book From Powerless Village to Union Power Secretary, an autobiography by P. Abraham, Concept Pub. Co., 2009
  • Page 30-31 Without Fear or Favour-An autobiography, Joginder Singh, Fusion Books, 2005


  1. ^ a b The India Office and Burma Office List: 1947. Harrison & Sons, Ltd. 1947. p. 235.
  2. ^ "Padma Vibhushan Awardees". Retrieved 21 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Gandhi Smriti Library, LBSNAA". 20 April 2020. Retrieved 20 April 2020.