PS Krishnan dedicated his life in removing caste-centric inequalities and was pivotal in the formulation of critical legislations like granting of Constitutional status to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes; the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.Centre for Dalit Studies was instrumental in bringing in the unique legislation: Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes Sub-Plan and Tribal Sub-Plan (Planning, Allocation and Utilization of Financial.

From his student days in his native Kerala and later, as a member of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the Andhra Pradesh cadre — and then in various positions including as secretary to the Government of India — he relentlessly worked for the empowerment of the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEdBC).

He sought to mould governance and public administration into a proactive instrument of reaching out to the deprived communities. He fleshed out the true spirit of constitutional provisions and social legislation, and implemented them with uncompromising zeal, brushing aside severe opposition from powerful sections inside and outside government. Challenging India’s inequities and inhumanities is not new. What is rare is the challenge emerging from within the system, from within the core of the “Steel Frame”. And Krishnan’s life and work are “the rarest of the rare” among Indian bureaucrats.

Krishnan also formulated many schemes for the betterment of the marginalised like the Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes (SCP) in 1978. His tireless efforts pulled out the Mandal Commission Report from cold storage and he persuaded V P Singh to implement it. Each of these initiatives he helmed was, inevitably, challenged in the courts. With his remarkable acumen, he drafted elaborate arguments to face the judicial process, that ultimately placed them on unassailable legal foundations. Among these were the Mandal legislation and reservations in educational institutions for SCs, STs and OBCs.

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