New Delhi: A 2011-batch IAS officer, Kashish Mittal, resigned from the service Friday over differences with the Centre on his transfer, ThePrint has learnt.
Mittal, an AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territory)-cadre officer, who was posted as additional principal secretary to NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar, was being transferred to Arunachal Pradesh, a decision he was not happy with, sources in the government thinktank said.
“I don’t think he had any issue with the government… He, in fact, wanted to stay in NITI Aayog, but the order of his transfer came, and he probably thought it was unfair,” one of the sources added.
This is not the first time Mittal has had run-ins with the government over his transfer.
In 2016, when Mittal was being transferred from Chandigarh, he filed a petition in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) — which adjudicates disputes and complaints stemming from recruitment and service conditions for public servants — challenging his transfer.
The Ministry of Home Affairs subsequently issued a strong reply to his petition, questioning the “vested interests” he may have developed in Chandigarh. Mittal, a computer engineer from IIT-Delhi and a renowned Hindustani classical musician, had then withdrawn his application.
Mittal did not reply when ThePrint tried to reach him for comment Saturday.
While postings in the northeast are always frowned upon by officers, who prefer central deputation, it is rare for an officer to resign from the service over it, an officer from Mittal’s cadre said.
A spate of resignations
Mittal is the fourth IAS officer who has resigned or offered to do so in recent weeks. In July this year, Finance Secretary Subhash Garg offered to resign from the premier service after he was abruptly shifted from the finance ministry to the less prestigious power ministry.
While his was the first high-profile resignation from the IAS in many years, there has subsequently been a spate of resignations of relatively younger officers.
Last month, G. Kannan, a 2012-Batch IAS officer from the AGMUT cadre, resigned from the service, citing the shrinking space for dissent and debate in the country as the reason.
Speaking to ThePrint, Kannan had said he was “disillusioned” after the crisis in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu & Kashmir.
Just days later, another IAS officer, Sasikanth Senthil of the Karnataka cadre, resigned for similar reasons. In a strongly-worded note, Senthil, a 2009-batch officer, said it was “unethical” to continue as an IAS officer when “fundamental building blocks of diverse democracy are being compromised”.