Admired Even By Her Peers
Rita Teotia is a four-time winner of the National Awards for eGovernance
Peer group admiration is rare and when it does come, it comes grudgingly — more so, when the admired peer happens to be a woman making space for herself in a sphere dominated by men. Rita Teotia is in that rare cluster of women and inspires approbation of even her fellow bureaucrats, for her dedication, amiable nature and administrative abilities.
Teotia has won the National Awards for eGovernance for applications developed during her various assignments in government, not once, but four times. Now Secretary in the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, she is among the main architects of the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES). The scheme facilitated infrastructure development, which in turn is without doubt, among the factors that put India on the world map as an emerging economic powerhouse.
She is also known for her negotiation skills and her active role in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The RCEP was instrumental in balancing the deficit in Sino-Indian trade. Before taking on her present assignment, Teotia was Additional Secretary in the Department of Electronics and Information Technology and Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Teotia is a 1981 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of the Gujarat cadre. She holds a post-graduate degree in Medieval and Modern Indian history from the University of Lucknow and a Masters degree in management from IIM Bangalore.
Teotia firmly believes that India would progress on the dint of her technological and modern day tools. She once wondered at the technological revolution that is driving India. “There was no telephone when the telecom revolution started,” she said, “there was no computer or Internet when these revolutions started, but we progress crazily, look where we stand today!”
Teotia is known to be a stickler for transparency and in the ease of doing business with government, even as she admits that exporters do need to wait a while for a point in time when they would not have to visit government offices at all.