IAS cadre rules | DoPT to remind States again

Seven BJP-ruled States have consented; five States have opposed; CMs of three States have written to PM opposing move.

January 25, 2022 08:37 pm | Updated 08:37 pm IST - New Delhi

Photo: PIB

Photo: PIB

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) will send another reminder to States to respond to its proposal to amend the Indian Administrative Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954, with which Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers could be deputed to the Union Government and Central Ministries without necessarily taking the State government’s nod.

So far, 16 States have responded.

Seven States — Haryana, Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Arunachal Pradesh, all governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — have given their consent to the proposal.

Five States — Odisha, Meghalaya, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and West Bengal — have responded to the DoPT, opposing the amendments.

The Chief Ministers of three other States — Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana — have written to the Prime Minister to register their opposition.

A senior government official said that January 25 was the deadline to respond but as many States have not sent their replies, the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions will send another reminder this week.

The Union Government is facing an acute shortage of All India Services (AIS) officers (IAS, IPS and IFoS), and despite existing provisions, States are not sponsoring adequate numbers of officers for Central deputation, and the available officers are not sufficient to meet requirements, the DoPT has said.

As reported by The Hindu , the DoPT had earlier sent three letters on December 20, December 27, and January 6, seeking comments from the States, but after half-a-dozen States opposed the move and the rest did not respond, it further revised the proposal on January 12.

The initial proposal (of December 20), accessed by The Hindu , only had the following two amendments — first, States had to send a list of all officers available with the State government for the Central deputation reserve, and the “actual number of officers to be deputed….shall be decided by the Central Government in consultation with State Government concerned”; and second, in case of any disagreement, the State will give effect to the decision of the Central Government “within a specified time”.

In its revised proposal on January 12, which has been vigorously opposed by Opposition-ruled States, the DoPT added two more amendments — if the State government delays posting a State cadre officer to the Centre and does not give effect to the Central government’s decision within the specified time, “the officer shall stand relieved from cadre from the date as may be specified by the Central government”; and secondly, in specific situations, where the services of cadre officers are required by the Central government in “public interest”, the State shall give effect to its decisions within a specified time. Presently, officers have to get a no-objection clearance from the State government.

The first proposal was opposed by Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Bihar and Karnataka have not responded yet to the revised proposal.

An official of the Jharkhand Government said the State has responded to the DoPT that “the proposed amendment will be contrary to the spirit of cooperative federalism”. Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week saying, “Centre should introspect and find out the reasons for the perceptible decline, over a couple of the last few years, in the number of officers opting to go on Central Deputation.”

Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel argued that it would be impossible for officers to work impartially “due to political interference.” West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has said that the amendment is against the “spirit of cooperative federalism”.

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