By Quaid Najmi
Mumbai, Mar 21 (IANS): Senior IAS officer and former BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has been unanimously elected as the new President of the prestigious Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
"The election by the BNHS Governing Council took place last evening, and it has elected me as the new President," an excited Pardeshi told IANS.
He said that "conservation and wildlife have always been his first passion" and he looked forward to his challenging new assignment.
BNHS is India's oldest and globally reputed organisation, 140-year-old, dedicated to wildlife and nature conservation and other related activities, said BNHS Governing Council member Rohan Bhate.
The BNHS is reputed as one of India's premier scientific institutions with its own independent scientific views, excelling in the conservation of endangered species and habitats.
Pardeshi has long been known as a wildlife lover and has been a senior Government officers deeply involved with the projects in and around the Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary, among others.
He has studied in-depth the wildlife management in many countries of the world, and would put some of the goods point in practice here through BNHS, said his colleagues.
"We have no doubt that the BNHS will attain a new peak in the field of nature conservation and research due to the appointment of Pardeshi," said BNHS Honorary Secretary Kishore Rithe.
Till now, Pardeshi was the BNHS Vice-president and the other GC members are: Usha Lachungpa, Dr. Anish Andheria, Kedar Gore, Peter Lobo, Kulojyoti Lakhar, Dr. Raghunandan Chundawat, Dr. Asad Rahmani, Dr. Shubhalakshmi, Dr. Parvesh Pandya, Vice President Shloka Nath, Treasurer Kunjan Gandhi.
Pardeshi, an IAS officer of 1985 batch had a rich and varied experience at different levels in his administrative career.
Among these are serving as a Global Program Coordinator at the UN, and as BMC Commissioner when the global Covid-19 pandemic had just hit India and particularly sweeping across the country's commercial capital Mumbai.
He also functioned in the Chief Minister's Office, departments of Forest, Environment, Finance, Urban Development and Revenue and also as a Member of the National Capacity Commission constituted in the Prime Minister's Office.
Recently, Pardeshi was named appointed as the Chairman of Maharashtra Institute for Transformation - MITRA -- a state equivalent of the NITI Aayog.