|Pinjore Garden in Panchkula|
LAST WEEK, 2009 batch Odisha cadre IAS Gauri Prasher Joshi was appointed as deputy commissioner of Panchkula, a planned Haryana city adjoining the union territory of Chandigarh that houses the capitals of both Punjab and Haryana. Significantly, Chandigarh’s deputy commissioner and 2003 batch IAS Ajit Balaji Joshi of Haryana cadre is Gauri Prasher’s husband. With Gauri Prasher’s appointment, Panchkula gets third deputy commissioner in one year. A product of St. Stephens college, Ms Joshi did her journalism from…Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), Delhi before she got into IAS. She hails from Haryana and was allotted Odisha cadre where she worked in Kalahandi which is an epitome of poverty and illiteracy. Now, on deputation to Haryana, she will be heading the administration of Panchkula, which can be termed as complete opposite to what Kalahandi stands for. Panchkula is a rich district with several industries and the headquarters of the Western Command of the Indian Army located in it.
Gauri Prasher, 35, is daughter of former IAS officer RN Prasher who as the principal adviser of former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was a highly influential person in the state. Later, he became the chairman of Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission. Her mother Manjula Prasher is a 1976 batch retired Indian Postal Service officer who is now an Information Commissioner in the Central Information Commission.
Gaur Prasher till recently was the director of Haryana Tourism. Her deputation to Haryana has been extended till 2018. Her husband Ajit Balaji Joshi, 38, originally hails from Maharashtra and was allotted the Haryana cadre. He was a mechanical engineer before getting selected to IAS. This 2003 batch IAS is currently the deputy commissioner of Chandigarh.
In Chandigarh administration, he also holds the departments of agriculture and food and supplies and consumer affairs-cum-controller legal metrology. He is also the district magistrate, estate officer, excise and taxation commissioner, secretary agriculture marketing board, agriculture census commissioner, chairman Wakf Board etc., according to the official website of Chandigarh administration.