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Meet MP Man From Small Town Harda Who Played a Key Role in Adding Rafale Jets to India's Might

Naman Upadhyay hails from a small town called Harda, around 175 km from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Naman Upadhyay hails from a small town called Harda, around 175 km from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Naman Upadhyay hails from a small town called Harda, around 175 km from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Vivek Trivedi
  • News18
  • Last Updated: July 28, 2020, 3:16 PM IST
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Bhopal/Harda:Naman Upadhyay, Second Secretary at the Indian Embassy in France, has come into the spotlight after the much-awaited departure of first five Rafale jets from France on Monday. It was in his presence that the first batch of Rafale fighter aircraft took off for India.

Naman hails from a small town called Harda, around 175 km from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

He was by defence minister Rajnath Singh side when he visited France for officially handing over of first Rafale aircraft last year. And on Monday, when the first batch of jets was handed over to IAF in France, he was once again present to witness the historic moment. These jets flew out from the Merignac airbase in the French port city of Bordeaux and will cover a distance of nearly 7,000 km with air-to-air refueling and a single stop in the United Arab Emirates before arriving at Ambala airbase on Wednesday.

He was posted as the Second Secretary after he was picked up in UPSC with 106th rank in 2016. It wasn’t a cakewalk as he was earlier selected in MP Public Service Commission in year 2010-11 but did not get the post of his satisfaction. Soon after he resumed his quest for what he wanted to do in his life, his family recalls.

“He reached till the interview stage twice but could not make. However, he never got disheartened,” said his cousin and City Superintendent of Police in Indore, Nihit Upadhyay. “He always had a knack for working on his shortcomings with a lot of positivity, which inspired others as well,” said the officer adding he got inspiration from his elder cousin to prepare for the civil services.

“He always had a keen interest in international relations,” said the CSP, adding that due to his merit, he was given a chance to choose a posting in France on the basis of his preferred language (French) post his appointment in Indian Foreign Service. He always had the right attitude of learning new things…he learnt English language from his grandfather for his preparation and learnt the corporate culture from our relatives who hold expertise in these fields, he said.

“We are so proud that someone from our family based in far flung Harda has a role to play in the prestigious Rafale deal”, said the officer.

Nihit Upadhyay is not the only one in the joint family of 35 to have made it through the administrative services. The family has produced several senior officials and they all credit their success to Brijmohan Upadhyay, Naman’s grandfather who was a teacher and inspired scores of his disciples to pursue their dreams.

Naman’s father, Narmada Upadhyay, retired as Director from the Commercial Tax department and several of his family members served at senior posts in the state.

His uncle Narendra Upadhyay told News18 that Naman’s grandfather taught him to focus on what he was interested in and the boy excelled in studies and made them all proud. His grandfather inspired many other personalities with his teachings and MP Agriculture minister Kamal Patel is also among his students.

(Inputs from Pravin Singh Tanwar, Harda)

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