Onkar Prasad Dwivedi | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Onkar Prasad Dwivedi

Onkar Prasad Dwivedi, CM, political scientist, environmentalist (born 20 January 1937 near Bindki in Uttar Pradesh province, India; died 29 January 2013 in Guelph, ON). Dwivedi was known for his research in public administration and the environment. He contributed widely to both his academic field as well as his community, both in Guelph and abroad.

Early Life and Education

O.P. Dwivedi came to Canada in 1963 as a student; he earned a master's degree in public administration at Carleton University in 1964 and a doctorate in political science at Queen's University in 1968. Dwivedi joined the new Department of Political Studies at the University of Guelph in 1967 and spent his entire career there. He served as chairman of the department from 1979 to 1990 and retired in 2002.


During his tenure at the University of Guelph, O.P. Dwivedi's major teaching field was public administration, which provided the impetus for most of his research activities including the governance of the modern nation-state, especially corruption in the public service; the environment and how it influences politics in Canada and abroad; and the interface between politics and religion, especially the potential of the world's faiths to ameliorate existing environmental problems. These interests inspired over 35 books and more than 135 articles and chapters — authored, co-authored and edited.

O.P. Dwivedi was a founding director of the Canadian Asian Studies Association and served as its president twice (1998-2000 and 2005-07). He was elected vice-president of the Canadian Political Science Association in 1979 and became president in 1986. In 1989, he was elected vice-president of the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration (IASIA) and served in that capacity for a decade. He was chair of the International Political Science Association's Research Committee on Technology and Development (1991-2003). The government of Ontario appointed Dwivedi in 1986 to its Environmental Assessment Board for a three-year term, and he also acted as an environmental management advisor to the governments of Canada, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and India.

Community Work

O.P. Dwivedi contributed much to his several communities over the years. He built a junior high school in Bindki and an optometric hospital and walk-in clinic in Bithur, India. In Guelph, he helped establish a Hindu cultural society and an interfaith ministry at the university, and acted as a spiritual counsellor at the Guelph Correctional Centre.

Personal Life

O.P. Dwivedi and his wife, Sarla, had two children, Prateek and Archana.

Honours and Awards

O.P. Dwivedi has been recognized for his service with many awards, including honorary degrees. IASIA established an award for excellence in public management in his name in 2008. He became a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1999, a member of the Order of Canada in 2005 and a recipient of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

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