Former telecom secretary JS Deepak has been appointed by Bharti Airtel as Group Director for Policy and International Strategy. The 1982 batch IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre was telecom secretary from June 2016 till March 2017, when he was abruptly transferred to the Department of Commerce. He was attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in his capacity as telecom secretary in March 2017, when his transfer orders were published.
Barely a week before Deepak was transferred out of the telecom department, the telecom commission, which is the highest decision making body of the DoT, under his chairmanship had written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, then headed by RS Sharma, that the regulator’s decision to allow Reliance Jio promotional offer to continue beyond the stipulated 90-day period and then allow a subsequent promotional offer caused loss to the exchequer to the tune of Rs 685 crore.
After a nearly three month period as officer on special duty (OSD) in the commerce ministry, Deepak was appointed Permanent Ambassador of India to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Bureaucrats can join corporates after a mandatory one-year cooling off period, or after specific clearance from the government that allows them to join a company following their retirement or leaving their government position. Deepak superannuated in 2018 but his WTO term ended in May 2020.