New Delhi, Jun 19 (PTI) Secretary in the Department of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Guruprasad Mohapatra died of COVID-19 related complications at AIIMS on Saturday.
Mohapatra, 59, was admitted to AIIMS in mid-April. He is the first serving secretary to the Government of India to have succumbed to COVID-19.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grief over Mohapatra's demise.
'Saddened by the demise of Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, DPIIT Secretary. I had worked with him extensively in Gujarat and at the Centre. He had a great understanding of administrative issues and was known for his innovative zeal. Condolences to his family and friends. Om Shanti,' Modi said in a tweet.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted: 'Shocked to know that Dr. Guru Prasad Mahapatra, Secretary, @DIPPGOI is no more. Enthusiastic at work, positive in attitude as a senior bureaucrat, he was constructive in his approach. Condolences to his family and friends.' Home Minister Amit Shah, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba too expressed their condolences.
'Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, DPIIT Secretary was a very able and hardworking officer. His untimely demise is very saddening. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family in this hour of grief,' Shah tweeted.
Goyal said Mohapatra's long-standing service and dedication to the nation have left a lasting impact.
Pradhan said India has lost an able administrator due the untimely death of the secretary.
'Dr. Mohapatra was also at the forefront of COVID management in the country. Though his karmabhoomi was in Gujarat, Odisha today has lost a true warrior. My deepest condolences to his family,' he added.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said Mohapatra was a highly efficient and dedicated civil servant and was always very responsive and constructive.
Expressing deep shock at the untimely death, Gauba said as the head of one of the Empowered Groups, the secretary worked with utmost dedication in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
'Even after he had tested positive and was not well, he continued to work for long hours, monitoring the supply of oxygen across the country, under very challenging circumstances,' the cabinet secretary said.
Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji tweeted, 'Saddened and shocked on the passing of Secretary DPIIT Sh. Guruprasad Mohapatra ji. Will remember him as a capable, committed and warm officer. His untimely death is an irreparable loss to the entire fraternity. Condolences to the family & loved ones...' Industry chamber CII too stated that the secretary was a passionate administrator and his innovative ideas and proactive initiatives set new models for the Indian economy.
'CII deeply appreciates the contributions he made to manufacturing sectors, FDI, and ease of doing business as Secretary, DPIIT which will continue to positively impact industry,' the chamber said in a statement.
Prior to taking over as DPIIT secretary in August 2019, Mohapatra served as chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
He was a Gujarat cadre 1986 batch IAS officer. He had earlier served as joint secretary in the Department of Commerce.
At the state level, he held the position of Municipal Commissioner in Surat, Gujarat. PTI RR ABM ABM