A peculiar case of a PCS officer from UP has come to our notice who managed to stay put on deputation to Delhi South MCD, NDMC for 16 years despite dubious credentials. Cases for major penalty proceedings are pending consideration in the Central Vigilance Commission and State Vigilance Commission of UP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the officer’s repatriation to UP as soon as his government took over. And this issue has been further clarified in a recent DoPT circular. If a ministry or a department or any other organisation wishes to retain an officer on deputation beyond five years, it can now do so with the approval of the minister concerned, without the case being referred to the DoPT. The only conditions, however, are that the extension has to be “absolutely necessary in the public interest”, and it can be only “up to a period not exceeding 7 years at a stretch”, according to the DoPT letter dated June 27 to all state chief secretaries. The subject of the letter was “Consolidated Deputation Guidelines for All India Services”. All other requirements such as willingness and vigilance clearance of the officer concerned, no-objection certificate of the lending authority or state government, and the UPSC or ACC approval wherever applicable, however, still need to be fulfilled.