Shortage of All India Services (AIS) officers continue to affect the Centre as only three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers have offered themselves to be available for Central deputation, according to the Home Ministry data as on July 18.
The officers are all in the rank of Superintendent of Police. There is no offer from senior officers in the ranks of Director General of Police, Additional Director General of Police, Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General expressing their willingness to be posted with the Union government.
In comparison, an October 2018 vacancy list of the Ministry shows that as many as 14 IPS officers were willing to come on Central deputation.
According to the Ministry data on July 18, there are 263 vacancies for IPS officers in 17 Central organisations such as the Central Bureau of Investigation, Central Armed Police Forces and the Intelligence Bureau. Most vacancies are in the rank of DIGs (94) and SPs (137). IPS officers are also appointed to other Central government positions including in union ministries.
In February, the Home Ministry amended the IPS tenure policy doing away with the mandatory requirement of empanelment of IPS officers at the DIG level. It said “officers with minimum 14 years of experience will be eligible for appointment at the level of DIG by the Centre.” Officers are assessed if they are suitable for Central deputation by the Central Police Establishment Board (CPEB) headed by the Union Home Secretary. The names of officers up to the IG level are then sent to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister for approval.
Replying to a question by CPI(M)’s V. Sivadasan in the Rajya Sabha on August 4, Personnel Minister Jitendra Singh said there were 14 IAS officers posted in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Two IAS officers each from Gujarat and Bihar cadres, while one each from Uttarakhand, Telangana, Sikkim, Manipur, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and AGMUT cadres.
The Union government has been facing acute shortage of AIS officers and to tide over the crisis, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) mooted a proposal in December 2021 to depute Indian Administrative Service (IAS), IPS and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers to Centre without necessarily taking the State government’s nod. The DoPT said that in spite of existing provisions, States were not sponsoring adequate numbers of officers for Central deputation and the available officers were not sufficient to meet the requirement of the Union. The proposal is still being examined.
Before an AIS officer is called for Central deputation, his or her concurrence is required.
The DoPT informed the Parliament recently that as on January 1, there are 1,472 vacancies in IAS and 864 vacancies in IPS in various States. The total sanctioned strength of IAS and IPS officers are around 6,700 and 4,900 respectively. AIS officers are recruited by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on behalf of the Centre and their services are then placed under various State cadres. The DoPT has said that it is incumbent upon the members of service to serve both under the State and the Centre.
In case of IAS officers, the Establishment Officer in the DoPT invites nominations from State governments. Once the nomination is received, their eligibility is scrutinised by a panel and then an offer list is prepared, traditionally done with the State government on board. Central ministries and offices can then choose from the list of officers on offer. The publication of offer list on the DoPT’s website was discontinued by the government in 2018 amid reports that not many State government officers were willing to come to the Centre.