Shri Romesh Bhandari was born on March 29,
1928, in Lahore. His father, late Sri Amar Nath Bhandari, was the Chief Justice of the
Punjab High Court. He is married to Smt. Kumudesh Bhandari daughter of late Maharaja
Bhupinder Singh of Patiala. He has one son and one daughter both of whom are married.
Shri Bhandari had a
brilliant academic career. He did his schooling at the Atchison College, Lahore where he
was awarded the Churchill House Medal for standing first in the Cambridge Higher School
Certificate Examination. He topped the B.A. Examination from the Punjab University
(pre-partition) in 1947. He joined Trinity College. Cambridge in 1947 and did his Tripos
in Economics at the Cambridge University. 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 also did a deputation 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 Paridit 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
has represented India in Major International Conferences particularly of the United
Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Common-wealth. Shri Bhandari is specially
credited with being responsible for introducing Economic diplomacy in the Foreign Office,
and for the improving and forgitig of relations with the Arab World, and particularly
participation of lndira 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.
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 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 Bbandari 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 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 is deeply interested in Art and Culture and is a keen Golfer.
Term of Office