Mr. Umashankar, a tireless crusader against corruption and abuse of power, is a 1990 batch IAS officer of Tamil Nadu cadre and an e-governance specialist. When he was Additional Collector (Development) and Project officer, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA), Madurai, there was misuse of funds allotted for construction of Cremation Sheds for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes. He refused to obey the illegal order of the then District Collector to award the contract to a private contractor. A Public Interest litigation came to be filed in the Madras High Court which ordered a CBI enquiry. During 1996, the DMK was voted to power and appointed him as Joint Vigilance Commissioner to peruse the files pertaining to high level corruption. He submitted several reports and indicted several IAS officers for corruption and abuse of power.
In 1999, he was appointed as District Collector, Tiruvarur where he introduced e-governance in the district administration. This was the first of its kind in the whole of India. Tiruvarur was rated 20 years ahead of rest of India by India’s leading newspaper The Times of India. The Week, a weekly magazine chose him as the Best Bureaucrat from all over India who can make the life of Indians better in the new millennium. He was sidelined when the AIADMK came to power.When the DMK was voted back to power again in May, 2006, he was appointed as Managing Director of ELCOT, a state owned company where he introduced total transparency in the award of contracts by introducing e-tender and also by a new method of tender evaluation by the bidding contractors themselves. He also introduced the use of large scale free and open source software in Government offices.
He also probed the scam - the mysterious disappearance of ETL Infrastructure Limited worth more than Rs.700 crores and he was abruptly removed from the post of MD, ELCOT. When he was working as managing director of TIIC, he got caught in the family crossfire and was sent as managing director of Arasu Cable TV Corporation, a Government owned company.
When he questioned the role of some powerful people, he was again shunted out of Arasu Cable TV Corporation and posted as Commissioner of Small Savings, an ex cadre post. The Arasu Cable TV Corporation Limited is now almost dead. The vindictive state government issued a charge memo to prevent his empanelment as Joint Secretary, Government of India.
He was denied even a car loan and allotment of housing plot by the Government of Tamil Nadu. He moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chennai and obtained stay against the Charge Memo. The state government then ordered a vigilance inquiry on his alleged assets disproportionate to known sources of income. The government ultimately suspended him on charges of producing fake community certificate to get into civil service. There were protests all over the country against victimizing a honest officer and the government was forced to revoke the suspension order and reinstated him as the Managing Director of TANSI. His crusade continues..