Every Saturday, as a part of its shoutout campaign, DIIR’s Social Media Desk will be profiling a civil servant of the Central Tibetan Administration. This week we are pleased to profile Mr Tsering Dorjee, Joint Secretary at the Department of Home.
Social Media Executive (SME): Could you briefly tell us about yourself?
Tsering Dorjee (TD): My name is Tsering Dorjee; I was born in Tibet and fled to India with my family in 1963. I did my schooling at the Central School for Tibetans, Mussoorie. After receiving my Senior Secondary school degree, with the blessing of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), I had an opportunity to study in Japan. I studied Agriculture Science as well as the Japanese language with my Tibetan friends at Chiba Ken Agriculture College, Chiba-ken, in Japan. I pursued my study with financial help from Narita San Shinshoji Temple in Japan.
In March 1984, I completed my study at Agriculture College and returned to India with our sponsors. Both Tibetan students and our sponsors received an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at his residence in Dharamshala, India. During the meeting, our sponsors apprised His Holiness about the progress of Tibetan students studying in Japan. Later that day, we had a meeting with cabinet members of the 6th Kashag, where we reported on our studies in Japan and informed them about our willingness to serve at CTA.
In the meeting, the 6th Kashag advised us to visit eight Tibetan Agricultural Settlements – 5 settlements in South India and 3 settlements in Central India, to assess and gain first-hand experience of the Tibetan agricultural settlements in India. After completing our assessment visits, we submitted our assessment reports to the 6th Kashag, Department of Home and Department of Education. At the same time, we submitted our assessment reports to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Meanwhile, we approached Public Service Commission for any job opportunity at CTA. But back then, the Secretary told us that there was no agriculture-related job. Somehow, the Department of Home appointed us as Agriculture Extension Officers at Orissa Tibetan Settlement on 1 May 1985. I rendered my service there in various capacities, such as project officer, office secretary, etc., until I was appointed as Agriculture Officer on 24 December 1998. I formally joined the post on 2 January 1999 and continued my service till 18 February 2014.
In mid-2014, I was posted to the Office of Tibet-Japan as Public Relations Officer (PRO) and rendered my service there till April 2016. And then again, I was transferred back to Dharamshala and rendered my service at the Agriculture Section under the Department of Home.
In February 2019, I was transferred to the Department of Finance and appointed as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (MEO) under the Social and Resource Development Fund (SARD). During my three years as MEO, I was assigned to monitor and evaluate agriculture-related projects undertaken by Central Tibetan Administration.
In June 2022, I was transferred back to the Department of Home and appointed as Head of the Agriculture & Cooperative section. Now, I am back to serving Tibetan agricultural settlements and Tibetan farmers.
SME: Please explain your job description and how best does your work represent you or vice versa?
TD: As head of the Agriculture & Cooperative Section of the Department of Home, I have a huge responsibility to look after the agriculture and cooperative development of Tibetan agricultural settlements in exile. My primary task is to improve agriculture and animal husbandry practices, modernise agriculture, encourage youths in the field of agriculture, and improve the income of farmers.
Sadly, these days, most Tibetan community members treat agriculture practices as unimportant. Factually speaking, the agriculture sector is the backbone of economic development in any given society. Even advanced nations are treating agriculture as one of the nation’s essential parts of economic growth. Humans’ survival is solely dependent on the food security of the nation.
I have a keen interest in the field of agriculture & animal husbandry. So, I would like to start an experiment/research on different crops and their nutritional management. It is of utmost importance that Farmers and Agriculture Extension Officers (AEO) need to have enough knowledge to improve agriculture productivity through the research-based program.
SME: What inspired you to serve the Central Tibetan Administration?
TD: There are three factors that have inspired me to serve at CTA. Firstly, I was greatly inspired by listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s constant advice. Secondly, being brought up and having received education under the care and protection of the Central Tibetan Administration, it had driven me to serve the administration. Thirdly, I learnt a lot from senior CTA civil servants who have dedicated their entire life serving selflessly for the Tibetan community and Tibet at large.
SME: What does it mean for you to be a CTA civil servant?
TD: I would say it is a great opportunity to serve the Tibetan community as a CTA civil servant under the guidance of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
SME: How best do you think you could make a difference to CTA?
TD: If I was assigned to Agriculture Research Program, I would say that I could positively impact CTA’s agriculture development program. The very reason I say so is mainly because of my educational background in agriculture. In fact, during my course of study, I did basic research work related to agriculture.
SME: Who is your role model and why?
TD: Our beloved leader, His Holiness the Great 14th Dalai Lama. I strongly believe in His Holiness’ quotation on the ‘purpose of life,’ as the saying goes, “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”
SME: What is your piece of advice for young Tibetan serving or wishing to serve at CTA?
TD: Follow the advice of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and try to practise them as much as you can. It helps you in your professional and personal life. You should be honest, cooperative with colleagues, respectful to seniors, and compassionate to juniors. Young Tibetans serving or wishing to serve at CTA must have specialisation in any given subject. Apart from that, you should have general knowledge of different issues, i.e., health, account, education, international relation, agriculture, cooperatives, etc. Lastly, as CTA civil servant, one should be ready to serve in different departments with different positions.