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8 non-SCS officers in line for IAS

By T.S.Ranganna

Bangalore April 29. The Chief Secretary, B.S.Patil, has written to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) seeking its permission to start scrutiny of applications sent by department heads for including eight non-State civil service (non-SCS) officers in the IAS cadre.

According to sources in the Secretariat, Mr. Patil sent a communication one month ago to the UPSC, which selects officers from the list vetted by the State Scrutiny Committee headed by him. Heads of various departments, including Excise, Education, Health and Family Welfare, Social Welfare, Animal Husbandry, State Accounts, Sericulture, and Statistics and Planning have recommended 150 names to the Chief Secretary for the purpose. The State Government could not make any selection of officers of the non-SCS category for several years as the case of T.Sham Bhat (now Chief Executive Officer, Bangalore Rural Zilla Panchayat) was decided by the court only last year.

Mr. Bhat was Joint Commissioner of Transport before being inducted to the IAS and had to fight a long-drawn legal battle to get the coveted slot.

Five posts were vacant last year and three more have been added this year. Belliyappa, P.G.Naik, and Veerabhadrachari have retired and Nageswara Rao was appointed member of the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal while Chikkanna became the Chief Electoral Officer. Now, only three officers from this category, Mr. Bhat, Nayaz Ahmed, Secretary to the Government, Department of Labour, and V.R.Patel, who till recently was the Deputy Commissioner of Gadag District, are in service. Mr. Ahmed is the only non-SCS officer to have risen to the rank of Secretary. Mr. Bhat would be the other officer, who would make it with 15 years of service.

Sources said that for the first time the Scrutiny Committee was facing a difficult task of short-listing 40 applicants from the 150 recommended, as it had to send a list of officers in the ratio of 1:5 to the UPSC for final selection. The scrutiny is tough as the rating of the officer should be "outstanding" and he should aged below 54. For nomination itself, the candidate should have served eight years in the Group A junior scale with a clean record. Many deserving officers are unhappy with the tough selection process as opposed to the selection for KAS, which is done on the basis of seniority. Some eligible officers in the non-SCS category lost their chance because of the Mr. Bhat's legal battle. In other States, these posts are filled in a routine manner.

According to rules, 66.6 per cent of the IAS posts are filled through direct recruitment and the remaining with KAS and non-SCS officers in the ratio of 18:15 per cent, respectively. A strange thing in the case of the latter category is that the post falling vacant is filled only the next year, depriving many eligible candidates of the chance.

A Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, who lost his chance to compete and enter the IAS because of this reason, resigned in disgust. But many officers, who are excited by the recent statement of the Chief Minister, S.M.Krishna, favouring officers from the State for higher positions in the administration, feel that this time, all eight posts will be filled.

Sources said the scrutiny of applications would start once the Government got the nod of the UPSC. The process, including the selection, might be completed before the end of the year.

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