Senior IAS officer Ashok Khemka’s request for central empanelment has been turned down by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) citing his lack of experience with the Union government, The Indian Express has learnt.
The 1991-batch officer is currently Principal Secretary of Haryana’s Archives, Archaeology & Museums department.
After filing repeated representations seeking empanelment as Additional Secretary, the officer moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The High Court, on August 24, directed the Centre to “pass a speaking order”on the fresh representation.
This representation, filed on September 2, reads: “My integrity has been my biggest sin and I am punished for committing this sin. Through this representation, I humbly request you for a fair and timely consideration towards my empanelment as Additional Secretary…”.
The DoPT considered the representation but replied that since Khemka had “nil” experience of working in the central government, he cannot be considered, The Indian Express has learnt. Khemka, in his representation, had cited 40 cases in which the Centre had relaxed this experience norm.
The Special Committee of Secretaries, on September 21, had noted that one of the criteria for consideration for empanelment at Additional Secretary level is that the officer should have worked on central deputation for a minimum period of three years at the level of Deputy Secretary and above.
“Further, in April, 2016, the Competent Authority had approved that the officers who have not completed one year of central deputation but are currently serving at the Centre may be considered for empanelment along with next batch. Accordingly, the officers who have not completed one year of central deputation but are serving at the Centre are being considered for empanelment with next batch and those serving at the Centre for more than a year are being considered for empanelment with their batch. The Committee observed that Shri Khemka has ‘Nil’ central experience as he has never worked on central deputation,” the committee noted.