Trainee IAS Officer Puja Khedkar Wanted House, Car Before Joining: Sources

Trainee IAS Officer Puja Khedkar Wanted House, Car Before Joining: Sources


New details have emerged about Puja Khedkar, the on-probation IAS officer in Maharashtra who was recently transferred over alleged misuse of power. Sources said she had asked for a separate house and a car from the Pune District Collector before taking charge as assistant collector.

The 2023-batch IAS officer faces several allegations, including the use of a siren, VIP number plates, and a “Government of Maharashtra” sticker on her private luxury sedan.

She was also found using the Pune Additional Collector Ajay More’s office while he was away. She reportedly removed office furniture and even demanded letterheads. These perks are not available for junior officers – who are on probation for 24 months. Reports suggest that her father – a retired administrative officer – had even pushed for her demands to be fulfilled.

Ms Khedkar was transferred to Washim after Pune Collector Suhas Divase complained to the Chief Secretary of the Maharashtra government.

Questions have now arisen over the selection process of Ms Khedkar, especially her claim of OBC, or Other Backward Classes, status.

To avail concessions in the selection process, she had claimed to be visually and mentally impaired, but refused to undergo a mandatory medical test to confirm her disabilities.

Unconfirmed reports suggest she skipped the tests five times and only half-attended a sixth – she did not appear for an MRI test to assess vision loss.

The Union Public Service Commission, which recruits officers for civil services, too had challenged her selection, and a tribunal ruled against her in February, 2023. Nevertheless, she managed to have her civil service appointment confirmed. She passed the uber-competitive Civil Services Exam despite scoring a relatively low all-India rank of 841.

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