K K Sharma

On November 5, 2018, the Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik appointed Kewal Krishan Sharma, a 1983 batch AGMUT Cadre IAS officer, as his fourth adviser. He is a resident of Billawar (Kathua) in Jammu but has spent most of his career outside the state.

Before assuming the charge of Advisor to Governor Malik, Sharma held various posts including the post of Union Secretary PWD during 2009 and was then promoted as Principal Secretary PWD. He remained on the post till April 2011. From 2011 to 2014, he served as Advisor to the Administrator of Chandigarh in an Additional Secretary-rank position. After that, he came to Union Ministry of Child and Women Development on Central deputation and joined as Chief Secretary of Goa on January 1, 2015. He was appointed Delhi Chief Secretary on March 3, 2015.

Reports said Sharma had played a key role in implementing flagship projects of Aam Aadmi Party Government in Delhi in the areas of Education and Health.

“Due to the tug of war between Arvind Kejriwal Government and Narendra Modi dispensation, the Centre on November 24, 2016, removed the then Chief Secretary Kewal Kumar Sharma,” said the reports.

Sharma also served as secretary of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) before his retirement.

Sharma has stayed for nearly 30 years outside the State and is presently living in Delhi, However, he had visited the State on several occasions during his various assignments and held regular interactions with bureaucrats in Jammu and Kashmir.

K K Sharma

Sharma is the first Advisor to be appointed by present Governor, Satya Pal Malik after assuming the charge on August 22, this year. The other three Advisors – B B Vyas, K Vijay Kumar, and Khurshid Ganai had been appointed by former Governor N N Vohra after the imposition of Governor Rule in the State on June 20, and his successor Malik retained all of them.

Sharma is the first person from Jammu region who was appointed as Advisor. Khurshid Ganai belongs to Kashmir province. K Vijay Kumar and B B Vyas are non-locals but known to Kashmir.

Sharma currently holds charge of Departments of Public Works (R&B), PHE & IFC, PDD, Finance, Housing & Urban Development, Information Technology, Industries & Commerce and Science & Technology.

In 2011, the Shunglu committee which had investigated the irregularities in the run-up to Delhi Commonwealth Games had dragged Sharma’s name as he was the principal secretary in PWD department under Delhi government between June 2009 and April 2011.

Later Sharma had sought permissions from the Union cabinet secretary to file a defamation case against the PM-appointed Shunglu panel. It was not, however, known if he was granted the permission or not.

While the media reports suggest that the new former bureaucrat has had a bright career, it remains to be seen how impressive his contributions would be in his home state, a place he holds a decision-making status now.

-Tahir Bhat

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