Lav Agarwal is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer who became the face of the Indian Government during the COVID-19 crisis. With his poised and humble response to an ever-inquisitive press at the PIB National Media Centre, he has become a household name in India.
Lav Agarwal was born on Saturday, 19 February 1972 Supremo (age 48 years; as in 2020) in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Since his childhood, he was a meritorious student and after his schooling, he went to the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi to pursue B.Tch. in Mechanical Engineering in 1989. In 1993, he graduated from IIT Delhi and started preparing for the civil services. In 1996, he cleared the UPSC Examination and became an IAS officer.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Parents & Siblings
Lav Agarwal’s father, K. G. Agarwal is a veteran Chartered Accountant in Sharanpur who has been practicing accountancy in Saharanpur for more than 45 years. There is not much information about his mother and siblings.
Relationships, Wife & Children
Lav Agarwal is married; there is not much information about his wife and children.
Lav Agarwal is a 1996 Batch Andhra Pradesh Cadre IAS officer. After his first posting as the Assistant Collector in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, he went on to serve in different capacities in Andhra Pradesh Government, such as Jt Chief Electoral Officer, Collector & D. M. (West Godavari), Collector & D. M. (Vishakapatnam), and Commissioner/Director (Disaster Management Andhra Pradesh). Thereafter, he was sent to centre on deputation as Joint Secretary in M/o Health & Family Welfare D/o Health & Family Welfare for a five-year tenure (from 29 August 2016 to 28 August 2021).
- 20/06/1997 – 01/06/1998: Assistant Collector of Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh
- 01/08/1998 – 21/06/2000: Assistant Collector of Bhadrachalam district, Andhra Pradesh
- 22/06/2000 – 08/07/2002: Project Director (Rural Development) of Medak district, Andhra Pradesh
- 08/07/2002 – 15/07/2003: Jt Collector of Medak, Andhra Pradesh
- 16/07/2003 – 09/11/2003: Jt Collector of Nellore, Andhra Pradesh
- 10/11/2003 – 15/06/2004: Jt Chief Electoral Officer at State Election Commission, Andhra Pradesh
- 15/06/2004 – 31/12/2004: Deputy Secretary at Chief Minister’s Sectt, Andhra Pradesh
- 01/01/2005 – 26/05/2005: Joint Secretary at Chief Minister’s Sectt, Andhra Pradesh
- 26/05/2005 – 29/05/2007: Collector & D. M. of West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh
- 29/05/2007 – 23/03/2008: Chairman & M. D. of Eastern Power Distribution Co Ltd (EPDCL) Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
- 23/03/2008 – 14/06/2011: Director of Education Deptt, Andhra Pradesh
- 14/06/2011 – 25/09/2012: Collector & D. M. of Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
- 25/09/2012 – 18/01/2015: Secretary of Youth Affairs, Tourism & Culture Deptt, Andhra Pradesh
- 18/01/2015 – 21/02/2016: Commissioner of Health & Family Welfare, Andhra Pradesh
- 18/01/2015 – 21/02/2016: Chief Executive Officer of Arogya Sri Health Care Trust (Health & Family Welfare), Andhra Pradesh
- 27/05/2016 – 22/08/2016: Director of Revenue & Disaster Management Deptt, Andhra Pradesh
- 27/05/2016 – 29/08/2016: Commissioner/Director of Disaster Management, Andhra Pradesh
- 29/08/2016 – 28/08/2021: Joint Secretary at M/o Health & Family Welfare D/o Health & Family Welfare, Government of India
- Lav Agarwal is considered a reticent civil servant who is known for his aggressive-yet-humble communication strategies.
- In February 2019, he hosted the delegates & attendees at the 4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit in New Delhi.
- He has represented India in many international forums for health, including the U.S.-India Health Dialogue in March 2019 where he focussed on infectious diseases, biomedical research, and new health technologies.
- Amid the nationwide lockdown in wake of Corona pandemic, every day when he appeared on the TV screen to brief the nation about the status of COVID-19, rate of infection, protective equipment, and the rate of testing, it was like a prime time show for India.
- Sources close to him report that during this biggest health emergency that the planet has faced in decades, Lav Agarwal has been entrusted by the Modi Government to become its face while briefing the country about the status of COVID-19, and he is leaving no stone unturned by working 15-16 hours a day; however, for Lav Agarwal, it’s like just another day in the office. Explaining his diligence for work, one of his colleagues says –
- His daily appearance on television rocketed him to fame, and when he was asked to comment on being an overnight star civil servant, he said,
I would insist that please don’t write about me. I don’t want to come in any news at all. I am only doing my job and come to news briefing as part of my job. If you wish to write, please write about health staff working on field who are taking all the risks and doing yeoman service.”
- In his leisure time, Lav Agarwal loves to do photography.
- Lav Agarwal’s father, K. G. Agarwal, while talking about his son who has attained celebrity status, says –
He keeps telling me that he is just doing his duty…That so much media attention is unwarranted.”
- Some of his colleagues say that initially, he may look unapproachable and hard to please; but if one works along with him, he would come to know how interesting and logical he is.
One of his subordinates say –
He takes time to trust people but he is passionate, committed to win and very target-oriented.”
- On his latest responsibility as the spokesperson of the Health Ministry, Anil Swarup, a retired bureaucrat, says –
I have watched some of the briefings so far and I would say that as a mid-rung officer Agarwal has shown remarkable maturity in handling the situation. I am happy that the government has assigned the bright bureaucrat such a crucial responsibility.”
- While talking about Lav Agarwal, one of his colleagues in the Health Ministry says –
Every crisis has a hero, and COVID has made Lav one.”