New Delhi: P. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi will from now on be known as P. Mohangandhi.
The Centre has accepted the Birbhum district magistrate's request to change his name. An order issued by the department of personnel and training (DoPT) on December 2 says: "Shri P. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has been permitted to change his name to P. Mohangandhi. He will accordingly be recognised as P. Mohangandhi for all official purposes."
When The Telegraph contacted the 2004-batch Bengal-cadre IAS officer, he said he had changed his name for "personal reasons".
Sources, however, said Mohangandhi had become the "butt of jokes" among his batch-mates and fellow officers because his name was the same as that of the Father of the Nation.
DoPT sources said Mohangandhi had written to the department requesting that he be allowed to change his name because it was "embarrassing".
A DoPT official said Mohangandhi was a "bit disturbed" as some of his batch-mates and officials in Birbhum were "making fun of him".
The DoPT sources said the Birbhum DM, who has been using the name P. Mohangandhi in official documents since taking charge of the district in May last year, was not the only one to request a name change.
"There are some officers who cite as reason their belief in astrology and the hope that a change in name will bring them luck, just like several Bollywood actors and politicians. Some officers seek permission for a name change to avoid unwanted associations. Besides, it has become fashionable to change names," the DoPT official said.
Last year, the DoPT received over 10 such requests, including a plea by Tamil Nadu-cadre IAS office S. Prabhakaran to change his name to S. Prabhakar.
According to service rules and guidelines, a government employee wishing to change his or her name can do so through a deed, whose execution should be followed by the publication of the changed name in a prominent local newspaper and the Gazette of India. The employee will have to bear the expenses.