Ashok Lavasa, a 1980-batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre, is the new designated Finance Secretary of the Government of India following the convention of designating the senior-most of the five secretaries in the Ministry of Finance as the Finance Secretary. Lavasa, holding the post of Secretary, Expenditure, is ranked higher than his batchmate of Tamil Nadu cadre, Shaktikanta Das, who is the Secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA). An MA in English literature and then an MBA, Lavasa originally belongs to Rajasthan. Lavasa has travelled a long way in his career. He has served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary and Special Secretary in the Ministry of Power, and Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and then Environment and Forests. While he was serving as the Additional Secretary in the UPA government and Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the Chief Minister of Haryana, Lavasa was offered the post of Chief Secretary of the State. When the NDA government came to power, he was serving as Secretary, Civil Aviation, and was offered the post of Chief Secretary by the new Chief Minister Manohar Lal. Lavasa politely turned down these offers. He was clear in his mind of serving at the Centre. Lavasa was among the few civil servants who visited the site of their first posting (Mahendergarh) on the clarion call given by the Prime Minister. Apart from being a hardworking civil servant, Lavasa is a passionate photographer and writer. His wife, Novel, worked with the State Bank of India before turning into an entrepreneur. She then began to grow exotic vegetables and organise adventure camps for women. Lavasa also wrote a book, An Uncivil Servant, published in 2006.