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Durga Shakti named OSD to agriculture minister

Durga Shakti Nagpal, a 2010-batch Indian Administrative Service officer who was suspended by the Uttar Pradesh government for taking on the sand mafia, was on Thursday appointed as officer on special duty (OSD) to the Union agriculture minister for three years. Nagpal was appointed at undersecretary level by relaxing eligibility criteria which required a minimum five years of service for being posted at that rank. In October, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had sought cadre and vigilance clearances for her appointment.

Nagapal was sub-divisional magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar when she was suspended. However, the alleged trigger for the action was her role in the demolition of an illegally-built wall of a mosque.

The suspension led to national outrage, with many political parties, including the BJP, as well as eminent citizens, criticizing the move, alleging it was on flimsy grounds. The all-India IAS Association had also sided with the suspended official, seeking the intervention of the Union government. It demanded she be reinstated.

Following her suspension, she was served a charge sheet, to which she filed a written reply on August 16, 2013. The state government had rejected her reply and set up a high-level probe committee under Principal Secretary R M Srivastava to look into the allegations against Nagpal and submit a report.

In September 2013, she was reinstated by the state government, after her suspension order was revoked.

Currently, she is posted as joint magistrate of Kanpur (rural). Nagpal graduated from the Indira Gandhi Delhi Technological University in 2007. She began her career with the Punjab cadre, joining the Mohali district administration in June 2011, where she worked for 14 months.

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