There has been discussion in the civil services over the so-called 360 degree profiling that the Modi government has opted for where feedback from colleagues plays a critical role in promotion and appointment of officers. And of late, civil servants serving with Central Government are perplexed by the way the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is issuing orders about the appointments of secretaries to the Central Ministries. The procedure till now was that each month, the DoPT appoints secretaries whenever the senior batches are exhausted and/or a vacancy arises. Currently, IAS officers from the 1978 to 1984 batch are serving as secretaries. Senior officers have observed that some 1982 and 1983 batch IAS officers are still serving as Special Secretaries and Additional Secretaries and are waiting for their postings as Secretary. But DoPT has just appointed 1984 batch IAS officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre Dr. Anant Kumar Singh as Secretary Textiles. The Modi government has opted to break from tradition in selecting its next set of secretaries by opting to empanel officers from the 1984 and 1985 batches in one go. For instance, 17 officers from the 1984 batch have been empanelled as fulltime secretaries, while there are 20 from 1985. In contrast, 31 made it as secretaries from the 1983 batch, while another 11 were given secretary equivalent grade. From the 1982 batch, 28 officers had become secretaries when the first list was released, and eight were given the rank and pay of secretaries. In the past, the norm was to appoint those with less than two years of service to posts that were secretary equivalent. This time, however, the government has opted to designate some with just around 18 months to go as fulltime secretaries, while some officers who have three years to retire will serve the remainder of their tenure as “secretary equivalent“, running the risk of reporting to their juniors in the years to come.
VOL. 11 | ISSUE 3| JUNE 2017