By the Way

Pressure on DoPT

Where are all the IAS officers?
Enter Vol.14 ISSUE 7-9 DECEMBER 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to take some tough decisions in the days to come. The cabinet expansion is long overdue as there are many ministers who are holding charge of more than one ministry.

Not only this, there are some secretaries who were holding add

itional charge of the ministries. A case in point is Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla who is holding additional charge of Department of Personnel and Training. Though Bhalla is efficiently clearing the files in no time, but observing the nature and pressure on DoPT a full-time secretary has to be appointed. Meanwhile, some IAS officers of the 1988 and 1989 batches are still waiting to be empanelled as Secretary. Covid-19 has created another proble m: Most IAS and IPS officers are not enthused about seeking deputation with the central government. It has been observed that the tenure of most officers  in the central government has been extended. Of course, officers who have served for seven years with the government, barring some exceptions, have been repatriated to their parent cadres. The paucity of officers has created an opportunity for IRS-IT, Customs, Indian Railways Services, Indian Defence Account Services, Indian Postal Services, etc., officers to be appointed in the core ministries as Joint Secretaries. Earlier most of the ministries were full of IAS/IPS officers were deputed as Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and Directors but now the allied service officers are occupying the coveted posts. As per DoPT data, the total sanctioned strength from states for central deputation is 903 whereas on January 1, 2020 the total number of officers deputed from the states was 421, so 482 officers from other services are currently deputed in the central government. Raisina Hill observers are questioning, if this is a deliberate attempt by the competent authorities to minimise the dominance of the IAS or is the IAS fraternity really not wanting to join  the central government. In bothIn both scenarios, the situation is worrisome. g

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