The Government of India on Thursday approved appointment of two advisors to Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandera Murmu for assisting him in running affairs of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.Putting all speculations to rest, the Union Home Ministry today gave its green signal for appointment of Kewal Kumar Sharma, former IAS officer and Farooq Ahmad Khan, ex-IPS officer, as advisors to the LG.According to wire service—Kashmir News Observer, (KNO), Sharma, an IAS officer of 1983 batch is senior to LG Murmu, an IAS officer of 1985 batch.Both Sharma and Khan had served as advisors to former Governor Satya Pal Malik who was shifted to Goa before transition of the State into Union Territory. The appointments of advisors has put the lid on rumors of Kashmir-based politicians been given any direct role in running affairs of the UT. “There is no question of politicians would be involved in direct decision-making or vested them with powers of ministers," a senior official, privy to discussions told KNO.An IAS officer of 1983 batch ,Sharma retired as secretary higher education in the Union ministry of human resources development in February last year. Sharma, who hails from Billawar area of Kathua, is the topper of the 1980 batch of the erstwhile Regional Engineering College, Srinagar.
An officer of AGMUT cadre, Sharma has held prestigious positions during his career in the Union Territories. As principal secretary of the Delhi’s public works department in 2010, he played an instrumental role behind various projects relating to the Commonwealth Games.Prior to his appointment as the chief secretary of Delhi, he has held the same position in Goa and was also advisor to the administrator of Chandigarh. In March 2015, he emerged as consensus choice for chief secretary's position in Delhi where Kejriwal-led AAP government and Centre have often locked horns over postings at top bureaucratic positions. Sharma has also served in Kosovo on United Nations assignment between 1999 and 2005. Farooq Ahmad Khan, an IPS officer of 1994 batch, was appointed as advisor to J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik after being shifted from Lakshawdeep, where he served as administrator.As per KNO, He was instrumental in creation of the Special Task Force, J&K police's anti-militancy wing, in 1994-95 when the erstwhile State was under President's rule. It is worthwhile to mention that J&K's last Governer Satya Pal was assisted by five advisors in running affairs of the State.Apart from Sharma and Khan, K. Vijay Kumar( retired IPS officer), K.Skandan( ex-IAS officer) and Khurshid Ahmad Ganai( former IAS officer) served as advisors to Governor before their tenure came to end on October 30. (KNO)