In a first, an additional director general of police (ADGP) has taken over as the principal secretary of the sports and youth affairs department in Haryana. OP Singh becomes the first IPS officer to hold the post that has been held by senior IAS officers in the past.
Before taking charge, Singh told Times of India that he would be focused on helping the youth take up sports in the state and get them engrossed in sporting activities so they can stay away from substance abuse. Haryana has the highest number of youths inclined towards drugs and alcohol in India, and Singh’s claims that he is looking at sports to drive the kids away from the intoxicants sends out a positive message.
The officer will continue holding his present position as a special officer of community policing and outreach along with this new position and will operate from the chief minister’s office (CMO).
Singh had earlier headed the sports department in Haryana from 2008 to 2012 as well, in which his focus had been on encouraging youngsters to participate and excel in sports promotion in the northern state. He had devised the SPAT sports scholarship program under the ‘Play for India’ campaign that had attracted more than a million young children to the playgrounds in the state.
The civil servant had organised a number of marathons across Haryana as well, which he believes helped in uniting sports persons. The effort had helped him win the tag of ‘The Marathon Man of Haryana.’
Singh had also played a key part in forming the Rules of Prevention of Money Laundering Act during his stint in the Union finance ministry from 2004 to 2007. He is credited with investigating the first-ever case under the new anti-money laundering act as well. In 2008, Singh was awarded the Indian President Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 2008 and won the Indian President Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2017.