Special Correspondent

“472 officers awaiting justice on service-related matters like timely induction into IAS and pay parity”

‘Need to evolve proper promotion mechanism to avoid stagnation'

To be raised during the upcoming session of the Delhi Assembly

NEW DELHI: At least three Members of Parliament from Delhi have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Minister of State in Union Personnel Ministry Prithviraj Chavan to highlight various long-pending issues of the officers of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli Civil Service (DANICS) because of which a lot of resentment in brewing in the cadre.

In their respective letters, North-East Delhi MP J. P. Agarwal, West Delhi MP Mahabal Mishra and Rajya Sabha MP Parvez Hashmi have stated that the cadres of 472 officers have been serving people in the aforesaid States. However, they have been “awaiting justice regarding various service related matters like timely induction into IAS and pay scales as available to their counterparts in various States”.

Pointing out that “adequate promotional opportunity is one of the significant factors in service jurisprudence”, the letters mention how stagnation for long periods could demoralise the officers. “It is, therefore, necessary to evolve the long-delayed proper promotion mechanism to avoid stagnation and demoralisation in the cadre.”

Since over 85 per cent of these officers are serving in the Delhi Government and have been closely associated with the preparations for the Commonwealth Games-2010, the letters also caution that “if corrective steps are not taken soon the situation may further worsen and will seriously jeopardise operational and functional harmony between services which operate together, especially in view of the fast approaching Commonwealth Games”.

In Delhi already 18 MLAs have also pitched in for the DANICS cadre and the matter is expected to be raised during the upcoming session of the Delhi Assembly.

Incidentally in 1998, too, the House had taken up the matter. It had “expressed concern at the reported decision of the Government of India in not accepting the recommendations of the Fifth Central Pay Commission” regarding provision of entry scale and a fourth scale for DANICS officers and recommended the Government of India to implement the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission. But nothing happened and following the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, with the gap between the IAS and DANICS growing wider, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had also written to then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on behalf of the cadre and made seven demands including review of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations and implementation of the fifth pay panel recommendations.

She had also called for “induction into the IAS (AGMUT) on the basis of a joint select list drawn batch-wise by including eligible officers of all the constituent feeder cadres such as Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, Puducherry.”

No reply

However, no reply has been received by the Delhi Government from the Union Government in this matter despite the Chief Minister taking up the issue. But while the officers are sceptical about the seriousness with which the issue has been pursued in the past 11 years, they are confident that the Centre would consider their demands judiciously.

DANICS Officers' Association general secretary K. S. Gangar confirmed that the letters have been forwarded by the MPs and said the issue of stagnation was really affecting the cadre as instead of being inducted into the IAS after eight years with four years' seniority they were often made to wait for up to 27 years and on attaining the age of 54 lose the right to be considered for such induction.

The DANICS cadre officers are also peeved because while they enter service through the Civil Services examination, in terms of promotion they do not start with just a four-year lag as it should ideally be. Also their sister Central Secretariat Services get much better treatment as the inductions take place much faster and officers also go on to occupy much higher posts.