|Highlights of Career
He was President of the Cambridge Indian Majlis in 1948-49. Shri Romesh Bhandari joined the lndian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1950, his first posting was as Vice Consul of India at the India Consulate in New York. He then served as Private Secretary to the Late Shri V. K. Krishna Menon, when he was Minister without Portfolio and then Defence Minister in tire Cabinet of Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. Shri Bhandari assisted Shri Krishna Menon in some of the major issues of that tinic such astlia Korean problem, the Suez Crisis, the debate in the Security Council on Kashmir, etc. He also worked closely with the late late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Shri Bhandari served in Delhi for several years during which he was also deputated for two years with the Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India. He was appointed as Minister in the Indian Embassy at Moscow from 1970-1971. He served from 1971 to 1974 as Ambassador to Thailand and Permanent Representative of India to then ECASE and now ESCAP, and as Ambassador to Iraq from 1974 to 1976.
He then returned to the Ministry of External Affairs as Additional Secretary and served in this capacity from February 1977 to July 1979. He was promoted as Secretary on August 1, 1979. Shri Bhandari was appointed Foreign Secretary on 1st February 1985 and retired from service on 31st March 1986. Besides reaching the highest post of Foreign Secretary, in the Foreign Service, Shri Bhandari made noteworthy contribution in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi vision of a non-violent world, and the guidelines of India's foreign policy as formulated by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. He assisted the late Prime Minister Shrimati lndira Gandhi in several International Conferences and Summits. He was the main instrument in implementing Shri Rajiv Gandhi's foreign policy, particularly that of improving relations with India's neighbours. He played an active role in several preparatory meetings for the establishment of SAARC. He represented India in Major International Conferences particularly of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth. Shri Bhandari is specially credited for being responsible for introducing Economic diplomacy in the Foreign Office, and for the improving relations with the Arab World, and particularly participation of lndian Companies in Developmental Programmes in West Asia. Amongst his other outstanding achievements was his contribution in procuring Oil at Official prices in the early 80s when the availability of Oil became very scarce, and prices of Oil had escalated without precedent. He made several visits to Oil Producing Countries in this regard as the Special Envoy of Smt. lndira Gandhi. He has the unique distinction of bringing back to India, hijackers of an Indian Airlines Aircraft from Dubai in 1984. This is all the more remarkable as this was done in the absence of an Estradition Treaty with the United Arab Emirates.
After retirement, Shri Bhandari was appointed Chairman, Foreign Affairs Department of the AICC (1). He was a member of the Implementation Committee for the Commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of India's Independence and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's Centenary, He was President of the All India Village Development Council and Patron of the All India Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes of Congress (1), Shri Bhandari took over as Lt. Governor of Delhi on 4th August, 1988 and resigned on 13th December, 1990 after the Janata Party came into power. During his tenure as Lt. Governor, he, was known for his easy accessibility to the public. He made a daily routine of visiting different parts of Delhi that faced a severe epidemic of cholera and gastroenteritis when Sri Bhandari took over as Lt. Governor. This was immediately and effectively controlled and rectified. Special attention was paid by Shri Bhandari to make Delhi the best city in the country. His highest priority was, therefore, to improve the conditions in Clusters, Slums and Resettlement Colonies, and provide better facilities to the Public in the fields of Sanitation, Transportation, Education, Health services, Electricity and Water. He launched a number of schemes aimed at the beautification of Delhi such as the illumination of Historic Monuments like the Qutab Minar, the Red Fort, and the Purana Qila. After resigning from the post of Lt. Governor, Shri Bhandari devoted his time in the service of the residents of Delhi. He assisted the Late Shri Rajiv Gandhi in international Affairs and particularly in respect of the Gulf War. He accompanied Shri Rajiv Gandhi on his visit to Moscow, Tehran, Dubai and Sharjah in February, 1991.
Shri Bhandari was appointed Governor of Tripura and assumed the office on 15th of August, 1993. In this capacity, he has been credited for being largely instrumental in the beginning of the process of repatriation of the Bangladesh Chakma Refugees to the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. The Chakma Refugees have been living in Refugee Camps in Tripura since 1986. Shri Bhandari held the Governorship of Tripura From 1st August, 1993 to 16th June, 1995. He Served as Governor of Goa from 16th June, 1995 to 19th July 1996. He took over as Governor of Uttar Pradesh on 19th July 1996. Shri Bhandari was deeply interested in Art and Culture and was a keen Golfer.