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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

In Chandigarh, the administration has ‘favourite’ officers

According to rules, an officer coming on deputation from Punjab and Haryana can stay up to a maximum time period of three years. The Indian Express takes a look at some such officers, the portfolios they hold, and the time period for which they have been in Chandigarh.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 14, 2021 1:49:37 am
Rubinderjit Singh Brar, an officer of Punjab Civil Services (PCS), was deputed to Chandigarh in August 2015. He was given the charge of Director of School Education here in Chandigarh. (Express File)

The well-oiled machinery of Chandigarh administration has ‘favourites’ — officers who had come on deputation and were given positions on which they have stayed for years, some as long as seven.

According to rules, an officer coming on deputation from Punjab and Haryana can stay up to a maximum time period of three years.

The Indian Express takes a look at some such officers, the portfolios they hold, and the time period for which they have been here in Chandigarh.

RUBINDERJIT SINGH BRAR

Rubinderjit Singh Brar, an officer of Punjab Civil Services (PCS), was deputed to Chandigarh in August 2015. He was given the charge of Director of School Education here in Chandigarh.

In July 2014, the Punjab government had transferred Brar as the SDM Sultanpur Lodhi. A year later, however, he was sent on deputation to Chandigarh, only not to return. It is Brar’s almost seventh year serving as the Director of School Education.

Brar had in an interview to The Indian Express in 2016 said that his aim was to stop commercialisation of uniforms, school books, and other things, in which nothing substantial has been done on the ground till now.

Also, it was only after the intervention of education secretary, BL Sharma, who is an IAS, that the otherwise deplorable education standards and board results of students of Chandigarh vastly improved. Sharma has served suspension orders and showcause notices to several teachers whose school results were dismissal in board examinations.

NAVJOT KAUR

In 2015, Navjot Kaur was sent by Punjab to Chandigarh on deputation. And she never left.

Before her stint in Chandigarh, Kaur, was posted as the Additional Chief Administrator (ACA), GMADA, of Mohali in 2012. On April 17, 2014, the Punjab Government ordered the transfer of PCS Navjot Kaur, ACA GMADA, as the SDM Sardulgarh on directions of the Election Commission of India. She was to replace PCS Rajdeep Singh Brar in Sardulgarh. However, in 2015, Kaur was back in the Tricity on deputation in Chandigarh.

She has since held the post of CITCO general manager, Director of Public relations in Chandigarh. During her stint with the DPR, she was known not to be media-friendly, and was later shifted and given the charge of Director of Social welfare, Women and Child Development.

RAKESH KUMAR POPLI and KULJIT PAL SINGH MAHI

In March 2015, Punjab Government had posted Rakesh Kumar Popli as SDM Jagraon. In 2016, Popli joined the Chandigarh administration on deputation.

In August 2016, the Chandigarh administration appointed Popli as the Excise and Taxation Commissioner.

Popli since then has been the Additional Excise and Taxation Commissioner and has also been given charge as the Chief General Manager CITCO in between.

Kuljit Pal Singh Mahi also joined the Chandigarh administration with Popli in 2016. He was appointed as Additional Secretary Home initially. At present, he is serving as the Additional Deputy Commissioner after replacing Sachin Rana.

Before coming to Chandigarh, Mahi was serving as Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) in Sri Muktsar Sahib, while RK Popli was posted as Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Amritsar.

Prodded about the lengthy deputations, UT Advisor, Manoj Parida said, “Frequent transfers do not allow officers to specialise and develop domain knowledge. We will, however, screen everyone and allow only allow officers whose records are outstanding to continue on their long tenures.”

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