Tale of two IITians | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Tale of two IITians

chandigarh Updated: Oct 22, 2012 10:25 IST
Rajesh Moudgil
Rajesh Moudgil
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Two IITians hogged the limelight in Chandigarh this week for opposite reasons: one, an IAS officer, for brave, single-handed fight against the shady land deals of the country's most powerful, and another for being the youngest IPS officer probably to have been apprehended by the central bureau of investigation (CBI) on bribe charge.


No prizes for identifying them. Ashok Khemka, from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur (West Bengal), is the 1991-batch Haryana-cadre Indian administrative service (IAS) officer who hit the headlines for taking on Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and DLF, country's leading realty giant. The other IITian is Chandigarh's superintendent of police (city), Deshraj Singh, accused of accepting Rs 1 lakh as bribe from a subordinate officer.

Deshraj, 33, the 2008-batch Indian police service (IPS) officer, is known for keeping a flamboyant lifestyle in his below-two-year stint in Chandigarh, and Khemka for his frugal living and being shunted 41 times in his 20 years of service. Deshraj, who received the MTech degree from IIT, Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh), was assistant engineer in a software company and assistant garrison engineer in the military engineering service (MES), ministry of defence, before joining the police. Khemka, computer science graduate from IIT-Kharagpur and holder of doctorate degree in the subject from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, also has a business administration (MBA) degree.

Khemka spent his career living in an ordinary transit flat with (and sometimes without) an official vehicle, while Deshraj got a spacious official bungalow in Sector 23, Chandigarh, and enjoyed optimum comforts and swanky cars around. No one can say if Khemka will be able to provide his family with a comfortable life next and if Deshraj will come out clean, given the kind of political and police systems we have. However, Khemka with his head held high to the camera, has earned an unending stream of compliments from his alma mater. Deshraj, on the other hand, even if framed, had his head down in embarrassment.

This article is to cast no aspersion on the quality education in the IITs that remain the real temples probably of education with scholarly faculties and honest learners, save exceptions.

The writer can be contacted @rajesh.moudgil@hindustantimes.com