Dr. Markandey Rai
New Delhi


Dr. Markandey Rai is born on 1st February 1952 in a village Ujiar, Ballia, UP (India). He is Ph. D. in Statistics and he has taught in many universities starting his career from the Patna University as a lecturer in the P. G. Department of Statistics. He joined the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, which is called UN-Habitat in short on the 20 January 1992 at its Headquarters in Nairobi Kenya. He retired in February 2014 as the Chief of the U.N. Inter-Agency Coordination, Global Parliamentarians and Trade Unions Programme of UN-HABITAT. He has served UN-HABITAT on various positions in more than twenty-two years of his service to the United Nations. He was recruited in 1992 to develop Urban and city Statistics. He was pioneer for establishing Global Urban Observatories and publications of the Compendium of Human Settlement Statistics and Human Settlements Atlas periodically.

He has been honored with "Hind Rattan Award in January 2006 in New Delhi. He is an "Ambassador for Peace" conferred by the Global Peace Federation in March 2009. He has also been recognized for meritorious achievements by several prestigious forums and organizations internationally including by the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England; Global Peace Foundation as a member of the Global Leadership Council and elected Board member of the Global Peace Youth Corps (GPYC), Africa. He has been appointed Senior Advisor to International Ecological Safety Collaboration Organization and Deputy Director of the international Ecological Safety Evaluation Institution in Beijing, China. Recently in March 2017 in the Global Peace Convention of GPF in Manila Dr. Rai is elected President of Global Peace and Development Service Alliance (GPDSA).

Life Sketch

Dr. Markandey Rai was brought up a middle class joint family in village Ujiar, in Ballia District of Utter Pradesh (UP), India. He has four bothers of his own and jointly he has12 brothers and 3 sisters. All brothers and sisters were brought up together in the same standard of living. His father was in Bihar police and he had four brothers and two sisters.

His mother was a widow since his father died in May 1957. However, She was the head of the family designated by uncles. She was respected mother of all his brothers and sisters. She died on 10th October 2009 when Dr. Rai was in New York for some meetings in the UN Headquarters.

His childhood had seen many difficulties but he never felt demoralized or in a low mood. His inspiration was his guardian of the family who was younger brother of his father. All 12 brothers lived together; eat together and studied together under one roof in village. All studied in the native village school up to primary under mango trees sitting on ground and writing on wooded slate with liquid chalk.

His schooling was in the village and moved to the Queen's College Varanasi for his intermediate degree. He graduated from the Banaras Hindu University.
He moved to Bhagalpur University in 1973. The academic session was a year behind and without any loss of time he was admitted in the same session, which was 1972-74 for the Master Degree course in 1973. He joined Honors course in Statistics also simultaneously in Marwari College since there was no under-graduate course in the university or in any other constituent college of Bhagalpur university. He did very well in both the examinations. However session was delayed more and he completed his Master Degree in 1976.

The question arose what to do next. He wanted to join some job and also to pursue his Ph. D. degree. So he applied in a project in Zoology Department of the Bhagalpur University but he was not successful due to local politics. He joined Ph. D. Course in Patna University and at the same time he started looking for a job. Luckily he got both. He was enrolled for Ph. D. in the PG Department of Statistics, Patna University and also got a temporary job in the A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies. He moved in the hostel of the Institute and started working there. He had worked just for 20days in the project that he got UGC scholarship for doing Ph. D. He consulted his maternal uncle Prof Haridwar Rai and he advised to go for the scholarship for Ph.D. degree. He again moved to the Patna University campus.

Time in Patna was very strugleful and he moved several houses and busy in teaching, politics and social work. His Ph. D. work became secondary. However, he continued it in parallel and with a lot of pressure. Same time there were some disputes and opposition from a group and an enquiry committee was investigating about anomaly in the appointment. It was indeed time for struggle and resources were limited. Only God was in his side and a bunch of trusted friends and well-wishers who never let him down. He crossed all the barriers and stumbling blocks. He secured a permanent position as lecturer in the Post Graduate Department of Statistics in April 1979 and secured his Ph. D degree in 1982.

Dr. Rai has written and published several academic and scientific papers as well as publications of UN books to his credit. He has widely travelled and attended several conferences of scientific as well as of political nature. He is life member and elected office bearer of several academic, cultural and social bodies in the world.

He got a chance to go to Colombo for a UNDP funded programme to develop curriculum for agriculture Statistics. Two persons were selected from India and one was himself. His stay in Colombo for one and half months gave him gateway to foreign assignments. He accepted to go to Tanzania first to teach in the University of Dar-Es'-Salam in the Department of Demography and Statistics in 1983. However, due to harsh living condition and his wife's ill health he returned to Patna in less than one year. He was again offered assignment of teaching from Nairobi University, Nairobi Kenya in the year 1986 and he took long time to decide due to heavy pressure from family to not to go abroad and try to earn more through teaching in other coaching institutions or by doing tuition which was against his nature. He had some family responsibilities, which required more funds on a regular basis. Ultimately he decided to take another chance to go to Kenya so that he can support his family financially better. After a long conversation and arguments and completing the responsibility of marriage of his youngest brother Dr. Ramesh Chandra Rai who is currently Professor and Head of Political Science in the Bhagalpur University Bhagalpur, he decided to go to Nairobi in November 1987.

He landed on 4th November 1987 to Nairobi and started teaching in the Nairobi University in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in the Chiromo campus of the university. However he had bigger ambition to join UN or go to European countries or USA for better life and broader spectrum for service. He got some consultancy with UN-Habitat initially but finally Dr. Rai gave his consent to join UN-Habitat, which was at that time called United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) on 10th January 1992 and he started working from 20th January 1992 as an International Professional Civil Service Staff as Statistician in the Research and Development Division of UN-Habitat

Dr. Rai worked in UN-Habitat till his retirement on 28th February 2014 when he turned 62 years old on 1st February 2014. He worked on various positions including the President of the UN-Habitat Staff Association. Latter on when UNON was created, the Associations were merged to have one Staff Union at Nairobi Duty Station from 1999. He was elected the Vice President and then the President of the Nairobi Staff Union from 2001-2003. He was the Chairperson of the Joint Advisory Committee also which advises all the three head of the agencies UNEP, UNON and UN-Habitat. He thoroughly enjoyed working with UN-Habitat and did several challenging work beyond his purview also. He was instrumental in saving UN-Habitat from merging with UNEP in 1998 when the Advisory Committee appointed by the Secretary General under the Chairmanship of Dr. Klaus Topher recommended merging it with UNEP. He wrote a letter to SG and mobilized countries especially the Kenyan Ambassador to UN to intervene and block it. He won the battle and UN-Habitat remained independent programme of UN as part of the Secretariat at the same status as UNEP.

He feels as if the UN campus as his because he contributed in erecting a number of monumental structures such as Peace Park on UN logo with indigenous plant of coffee and tea; UNFCU Bank's branch; Recreational Centre and others in the name of staff welfare and administration. UNON health Centre was a great achievement. Initially it was a small place with only one surgeon Dr. Mugere and no other facilities. When he visited UNECA office in Addis Ababa for a CCISUA Staff Assembly, he realized that there is a mini hospital there where various tests and other medicines including vaccinations are available. He demanded for the similar facilities and in steed of a surgeon we should have GP doctor who can provide some medicine for simple sickness and can recommend specialist for special nature of treatment. After some resistance, management agreed that they will include in the budget from the next biennium and it was approved by New York. Now Nairobi has a full-fledged health facility with a number of doctors and health practitioners. He feels very proud and happy to see that the center is running and providing services to staff, which saves time and resources and improve the quality of work for the staff. He insisted that no vendor or contractor who is providing services to UN office should exploit their employee's workers including cleaning company, security companies, electric contractor and gardening firms. A fair pack policy was introduced for any contractor even if it costs more to the UN. UN should not allow exploitation in the campus. This is in a way human rights violation within the UN campus. UN shall loose our moral values and have no right to address human rights violation in the world if we do not stop the same practice by contractors in out offices. Finally the heads of agencies were convinced to give daily subsistence allowances to Interns who come from all over the world to work with UN for some experience and get some credit in their studies.

As the President of UN-Habitat Staff Association and later as the President of the Nairobi Staff Union, he participated in many decision making processes including revitalization of UN-Habitat and made sure that job security in not negotiable unless there is serious violation of UN ideals and principles. He maintained throughout his period and took all risk and pain to be penalized by the management and bureaucracy including termination. He had to forgo his own benefits and career development for the sake of majority. However, God was always in in his side and he retired honourably in February 2014 with all respect and love. He retired as Coordinator for the Inter Agency Coordination and Global Parliamentarians and Trade Unions. He is a proud UN Civil Servant and lives his retired life in New Delhi India. One of the achievement he can proud of is that he organized the first Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) in December 2006 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi which was opened by the President Dr. APJ Kalam and valedictory statement was to be given by the Prime Minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh which was delivered by Mr. Mantok Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission due to delay of PM flight from Japan to New Delhi. Indian Minister became the Chairperson and the secretariat was set up in the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi. This first APMCHUD conference was attended by highest number of member countries including China and Pakistan at the ministerial level with biggest delegation from China.

He is appointed Chairman of the BMO of NABET under Quality Council of India. He is also very active in the Indian Council of International Relations and member of the Executive Council. Last but not least he is Executive Director of Youth Vocational and leadership Programme in Raipur, Chhattisgarh under Sadafaldeo Foundation of Vihangam Yoga.

Furthermore, he is appointed the President of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Indian Council for international Cooperation. He is also the Chancellor of the Indira Gandhi Technological and Medical Sciences University in Arunachal Pradesh, India.

The Executive Director of UN-Habitat has honoured him with a certificate of appreciation from UN-Habitat for my distinguished and dedicated services for more than 22 years. He has also been awarded Hind Rattan Award in January 2006 in New Delhi on the eve of Indian Independence Day. Furthermore, He has been awarded Humanity Achievers Award in 2014 and 2015 for distinguished services and achievements. His biography has been published in Marques Who's Who in the World in its 14th edition in 1997. Recently he has been elected President of the Global Peace and Development Service Alliance of the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) convention in March 2017 in Manila, Philippines.

He is enjoying life with my wife Mrs. Gaytri Rai in Delhi and my son Mr. Siddharth Rai who is an Aeronautical Science graduate and pilot with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida USA.


* Chancellor, IGTAMS University, AP, India
* President, Foreign Affairs Committee, Indian Council for International Cooperation
* Chairman: Accreditation Board of BMO of Quality Council of India
* Senior Advisor: UN-Habitat, Nairobi, Kenya
* Deputy Director, IESEI, Beijing, China
* Executive Director: Synergies Institute, Accra, Ghana
* Advisor: Yuvsatta (Youth for Peace), Chandigarh
* Chairman: UN Joint Advisory council (JAC), UNON, Nairobi, Kenya
* President: UN Nairobi Staff Union
* Member: Global Leadership Council of Global Peace Foundation (GPF)
* Ambassador: Global Peace Ambassador of GPF
* President, Global Peace and Development Service Alliance of GPF
* President: Standing committee of Regional and Urban Statistics (SCORUS) of ISI

Awards and Recognition

* Hind Rattan Award in 2006
* Humanity Achievers Award 2014 and 2015
* UN-Habitat Recognition of Service Award

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