New Delhi: Delhi Chief Secretary K K Sharma, today termed his transfer as the Higher Education Secretary in the Union HRD Ministry as “normal and routine”, while reacting to the possibility of a fresh tussle between the AAP government and the Centre over it.
“This is a normal, routine transfer for IAS cadre officer who work in the Union Territories and Centre. Officers of the 1983 batch, who have been empanelled few months earlier, have started getting appointments,” Sharma told PTI.
Sharma, a 1983 batch IAS officer of AGMUT cadre, has played a key role in implementing the flagship projects of the ruling AAP in the areas of education and health over the last one year.
Transfer of Sharma, who still had more than a year of service left, sources said was not ahead of schedule as he was empanelled as Secretary to the Government of India 4-5 months back and he had green flagged a possible transfer.
It is learnt that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was in the loop on him being empanelled and his possible transfer to the Centre. Sharma had apprised the CM, “who did not object to it”, which he could have, sources said.
According to guidelines, Sharma will continue to serve in his capacity as Chief Secretary till he is relieved to take up his new charge.
The Ministry of Home Affairs will take a call on the new Chief Secretary “shortly”, an official said, adding that there are several senior officials in the fray for the position, and that the city government can also recommend names.
“Either somebody is appointed and he takes charge. Else, the senior-most officer is appointed as interim arrangement.
In this case it is Home Secretary SN Sahai,” the official said.
Names that could have been considered for the post include Rajendra Kumar, the Principal Secretary to Chief Minister who was suspended following his arrest over graft charges and senior officer Sanjay Srivastava, who will soon take over as Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had declared services as reserved subject and that notification has been upheld by the Delhi High Court in its August 4 order that had upheld the LG as the city’s administrative head.
“So there is no scope for quibbling over who will be the next Chief Secretary,” the official said.
Prior to his appointment as Chief Secretary in March 2015, Sharma was serving in the same position in Goa. Before that, he was advisor to the Administrator of Chandigarh.
As Principal Secretary of the city’s PWD Department in 2010, he had played an instrumental role behind various projects relating to the Commonwealth Games.
Although RS Negi was the first choice of the Kejriwal government for the top post after it stormed to power in February 2015, Sharma emerged as an acceptable face and had taken over as Chief Secretary on March 9.
“The officer will take over as Secretary, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, on superannuation of the present incumbent Vinay Sheel Oberoi”, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said yesterday.