From humble beginnings to retiring from the prestigious post of Chairman of Staff Selection Commission in 2013, Mr. N.K. Raghupathy, an IAS officer of the 1975 batch, has come a long way. Despite financial hardships in his childhood days, he completed his education with the help of merit scholarships. Mr. Raghupathy had always been a bright student in his school and college. He completed his BSc (Chemistry) in 1971, securing the first rank in his college. In 1973, he completed MSc (Chemistry) as a gold medallist, the first rank holder in the university. He joined IAS in 1975 and was the topper of his batch in West Bengal, the State he was allotted. It was during his tenure as Settlement Officer in West Bengal that Mr. Raghupathy felt the need for formal Management Training to perform his job well. This led him to take a sabbatical from work to pursue an MBA (specializing in Corporate Finance and Foreign Trade). He graduated with distinction in 14 of the 18 papers and as a second rank holder.
He served the Government of India in various capacities besides occupying important positions in West Bengal. He started as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate in West Bengal and later served as Additional Deputy Commissioner and Settlement Officer between the period 1977 and 1984. He served as the Regional Director, Staff Selection Commission, Chennai, between 1984 and 1988. Following this, he served as the Secretary of the Board of Revenue in West Bengal and Ex Officio Joint Secretary and later as Ex officio Special Secretary to the Government of West Bengal during the period 1989–1992, and his work was much appreciated. He joined as the Regional Development Commissioner, Chennai, under the Ministry of Steel in 1992 and was elevated as the Joint Secretary in the same Ministry in 1995. In 1997, he went on to serve as the Divisional Commissioner, Jalpaiguri. Between 1999 and 2000, he served as Secretary, Home (Personnel and Administrative Reforms) Department, Government of West Bengal. From 2000 to 2002, he served in the Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, West Bengal, as the Resident Representative at Chennai and Ex Officio Secretary/Principal Secretary and Resident Representative and Ex Officio Principal Secretary to the Government of West Bengal between 2000 and 2002.
He was appointed as the Chairman of Tuticorin Port Trust between 2002 and 2007. From 2004 to 2007, he concurrently held the post of Chairman & MD, Sethusamudram Corporation Ltd. The PSU was involved in creating a long off-shore navigation channel, which would have been an engineering marvel if it had been completed. He was appointed as the Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & PD, in the year 2007. In 2009, he was made the Chairman of Staff Selection Commission, New Delhi, and served in that capacity until his retirement in 2013 at the age of 62. His tenure in the Staff Selection Commission was marked by Reform of the Selection Process, time-bound and quick recruitment and candidate-friendly procedures.
Mr. Raghupathy was the trendsetter in using Twitter for conveying policies and schedules to the public and for interacting with job seekers. He was the first government official to use the Social Networking platform as a major communication platform in 2009. His tenure saw record recruitment to non-gazetted posts in the Government of India.