Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who is Ashok Khemka? How this Haryana IAS becomes a hero overnight

Khemka: Punished for taking on Vadra?
TILL a few days ago, 47-year-old Haryana IAS Ashok Khemka was one of the hundred faceless bureaucrats who make a little effort to bring about changes in the society but end up getting transferred. This 1991 batch IAS officer was transferred about 40 times in last 21 years. On Tuesday evening, social networking sites are abuzz with messages in support of Khemka who raised the issue of Panchayat land worth crores of rupees being transferred to newly-formed companies with paid-up capital of as little as Rs1 lakh. Khemka has challenged his transfer order though...
state chief secretary PK Chaudhery has insisted that transfer is the "prerogative of the government" and Khemka was transferred for “administrative reasons”. Khemka’s transfer would have passed as yet another routine exercise had DLF-Robert Vadra deals not remained such a hot topic for discussion in TV studios and outside.
Khemka is a PhD in computer science, MBA in finance and MA in economics. But today, he has become the darling of social media not because of his remarkable educational qualifications but for his courage to take on real estate and political lobbies. “Proud of you Mr. Khemka. You brought tears to my eyes. India is proud of you. Wish India had more bureaucrats like you…” says one post in Twitter. Harvard MBA-turned IAS officer Srivatsa Krishna posted on Twitter: “...there are many Ashok Khemkas in IAS. The media sadly only likes to focus on those who make money”.
Khemka has never come to Central deputation so far. In Haryana, he has worked in dozens of departments including information technology, fisheries, housing, AIDS control, finance, planning, land administration, rural development, land use, supplies and disposal, social justice and empowerment, consolidation land holdings just to name a few. He also served as the MD of Warehousing Corporation Ltd and Haryana State Electronics Development Corporation (HARTRON).
Khemka, an IIT product, has also brought out nine publications in the field ranging from WTO to food procurement. He was also awarded by Manjunath Shanmugam Trust Commendation in 2009 for his public service.
Prominent IAS officers from Haryana cadre include CVC Pradeep Kumar and finance secretary RS Gujral.

My First Day In Bureaucracy
“Got my first independent charge today in Himatnagar Collectorate. Signed several files & made notings. Feels gr8 2 exercise power through pen”, writes Ajay Prakash, a 2011 batch Gujarat cadre IAS.


  1. Great information about Ashok Khemka. Thank you for the excellent posting.

  2. Most reasoned bureaucrats say there are many Khemkas in the system. But Ashok Khemka became the darling of the TV channels because his action (initiating a probe in Haryana land deals) would have probably impacted the Haryana government, Congress and also its first family.

  3. I've said this earlier here:

    Will say this again. Dr Khemka is NO HERO. He is the most obnoxious, unprofessional and (in Information Technology) incompetent officer I've ever had to deal with, in my 12 years of eGovernance career.

    Scandal hungry press is making a hero out of a petty & vindictive man who has made a career out of digging for skeletons wherever he goes and does nothing else.

    By all means, investigate wrongdoings by the govt. Ask for accountability.

    But do a bit more homework before defending this man. One only has to read his file notes and DO Letters to know how flimsy most of his accusations are; and how boorish his behavior is. He does hit pay dirt accidentally once-in-a-while mainly because "holes in any project" are an inherent feature of the way our govt works. He milks such incidents for all their worth.

    Hope he grows up and does something meaningful in his life. I wish him well in such efforts.

  4. Dear Sastry,

    Firstly there is a direct conflict of interest in your case, you fall directly in line of the likes of Mr.Tulsi, people who are on the payroll of the Haryana government. For all you know, this could be a strategic communication campaign to malign Mr.Khemka, that Haryana Government would have asked you to initiate on the web. Saw your blog at Please quit the post of the Advisor to Haryana Government first and then make a neutral comment someone who has borne the brunt of over 40 transfers...the amount of sacrifice that such a thing demands of an individual..and allowing oneself and one's loved ones to be vulnerable to psychological and physical harm. He had the guts to stand up to scrutiny. Looks like you seem to be jealous of him being in the media limelight...guess you will have to conjure up some credentials out of your 12 years of e-governance crusade as an advisor to the Haryana government. Hopefully you would understand the KEY OBJECTIVE OF E-GOVERNANCE HAS TO BE FIRST AND FOREMOST TRANSPARENCY.

    The state doesn't seems to have progressed much with regard to transparency under your advise !! with highest incidence of benami holdings and illegal land transactions probably out of whole of India.



  5. Well said sir.. I thank God there are officers like Ashok Khemka in India... I salute him for the guts he has comment on have said enough.. I wish he get well soon...

  6. He is a very upright officer. At social justice we were given the agenda and Minutes of meeting before start of meeting. The meeting were conducted as per the minutes and signed copy of minutes given at end. In no case the minutes were circulated following day. Very efficient officer !!!

    1. MOM before meeting... sounds like dictatorship not efficiency..... petty officer looking only for scams and fame with no regards for results or doing anything constructive...

  7. We should respect the courage of Shri Ashok Khemka. It is true that there are many Khemkas in Indian Bureaucracy. But there is a difference between silence and protest. This protest of Mr. Khemka would encourage other officers.

    Wish him luck.


    In the above news, if what is written on his administrative capability is true as mentioned for the social justice department. Then it looks like he is trying to become a crusader to hide his incompetancies. Can someone ask him what he has done apart than unearthening scams.Anyways, the country should benefit from his skill.
    He should be moved to CVC to bring in more transperacy.

  9. Mr.Sastry

    Being an advisor to the govt. of Haryana,I dont have the smallest iota of doubt that you are totally biased.

    Would you resign your job if the IAS officer was right?


  10. The whole country is debating Khemka and Vadra

    but no one is looking at the legal angle.

    My question to the intelligent classof this country is Did the Rules of Business allow Mr. Khemka to initiate an inquiry suo-motto? Secondly why was he in a crashing hurry to pass an order without hearing the opposite party, even though he was well aware that it was quasi-judicial authority's capacity.

    Secondly no one is saying wht loss occured to State Exchequer. The Collector/DLC rate is the benchmark below which registration of documents is not allowed. The amount or consideration is never the amont on which State Govt is paid the registration fees or stamp duty. The Indian Stamp Act can be consulted in this regard.