Arabinda Kumar Padhee is an Indian national. He has a Master’s degree in Agricultural Science from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and a PhD from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from University of Birmingham, UK. He has taken public policy courses at University of Toronto; Civil Services College, Singapore; and University of Cambridge at various points in his career.
Dr Padhee joined the Indian Administrative Services in 1996 and belongs to the Odisha cadre. Among the various positions he has held are District Magistrate and Collector; Director, Agriculture and Food Production; Director, World Bank assisted Rural Livelihoods Project; Revenue Divisional Commissioner; Chief Administrator, Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri; Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Tourism and Culture Department, Odisha and Joint Secretary, Department of Fertilizers, Government of India, New Delhi. During his tenure with the Odisha Government, he was instrumental in drafting the Odisha State Agriculture Policy in 2008. He has also served as a member of the Technical Support Group of the erstwhile Planning Commission that prepared the District Agricultural Plan manual. Government of India appointed Dr Padhee as the first nodal officer to implement Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) in fertilizers in 2016.
Among the notable awards and citations Dr Padhee has received during his career in the Civil Services are the Best Collector award (2003-04) and the National Award for contribution to humanitarian services given by the Indian Red Cross Society (2006-07). He was the Indian Co-chair of the Sub-Group on Fertilizers of the India-Russia Inter-governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation in October 2015. He was awarded the AIASA National Award for outstanding Leadership in Agriculture for the year 2016. Dr. Padhee has recently been included as a member of National Advisory panel on Agriculture-Nutrition under Poshan Abhiyaan. He regularly writes popular articles/OpEds around issues related to agriculture and food policies, climate change and rural development.