The Appointments Committee of the union cabinet has extended the tenure of IAS officer Amit Khare, who is serving as advisor to Prime Minister. His term, which was fixed for two years from October 12, 2021, has now been made coterminous with their term of Prime Minister or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
Khare, a 1985 batch IAS from Jharkhand cadre, has retired in 2021 as Information and Broadcasting secretary before being picked up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his advisor. As the I&B secretary, he played a significant role in bringing key changes in digital media regulations.
His wife Nidhi Khare, 1992 batch IAS, also from Jharkhand cadre is working as special secretary with consumer affairs department. She will join as Officer on Special Duty, Department of Land Resources, Ministry of Rural Development on December 1, 2023 and then take over as secretary on January 1, 2024 after the incumbent Ajay Tirkey retires.
Khare exposed the infamous fodder scam
In the late 1990s, Khare played a key role in exposing the Rs 950-crore fodder scam in undivided Bihar when he was posted as the District Magistrate at Chaibasa.
Khare noted that the district animal husbandry department had withdrawn Rs 10 crore and Rs 9 crore twice without giving any details. Even when questioned, there was no response from the animal husbandry department. Finally, in January 1996,Khare visited the office to investigate, and found it looking as if “someone had tried to destroy files in a hurry”. Many bogus bills were for amounts just under Rs. 10 lakhs (when there are more stringent authorization norms). It seemed that such payments had been going on for years. The next day, simultaneous raids conducted at Ranchi and elsewhere found similar practices.
That was the first evidence of the scam, which gathered momentum after regional CBI director U N Biswas defied political pressures to pursue the case up to the chief minister level. Those convicted include the chief minister Lalu Yadav, the preceding DM of Chaibasa, IAS officer Sajal Chakraborty.
Apart from that, he has also been credited to have launched an ‘Anti-Superstition Campaign' in the district to save women from harassment due to superstition prevailing in society. His efforts were successful when the Bihar government passed legislation on the same.
Architect of National Education Policy – 2020
Khare is a Physics graduate from St Stephens College in Delhi and also holds an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. He has keen interest in education and has played a pivotal role in bringing out the National Education Policy – 2020. He has also served as the Vice Chancellor of Ranchi University.
Ram Kumar Kaushik is a seasoned journalist with over 25 years of experience across mediums. The architect of this news website, he is also a consultant with several media groups. He was formerly the group managing editor of ITV Network (NewsX, India News and The Sunday Guardian) and its digital products.