ias: Government may push to change IAS-IPS rules, citing staff shortages | India News

Amid raging controversy, the Center could move forward with tweaking rules for the central delegation of IAS, IPS and Forest Service officers, arguing the amendments are needed in due to a severe shortage of personnel to fill key positions and also to deal with the flagship, national security and disaster management programmes.
The personnel and training department has proposed changes to key provisions, which some of the opposition-led states oppose, with West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee rushing in a second letter to file her protest, calling it a “draconian”. Maharashtra is also going to oppose the amendments on the grounds that the officers will be selected without the consent of the states.
Current rules allow states to delegate up to 40% of their respective executives’ sanctioned positions to the Center, which is also used to calculate the promotion quota for IAS officers.
But over the years, the number of officers in the All India Services – IAS, IPS and IFoS – has dwindled, government sources said. For example, official data showed that at the Joint-Secretary level, the number of IAS officers in the central deputies reserve has fallen from 309 in 2011 to 223 today, resulting in a drop utilization rate to 18% compared to 25% ten years ago.
The number of IAS officers at assistant secretary and director level in the country has increased from 621 in 2014 to 1,130 now, but despite the higher recruitment, the number of central deputation officers has increased from 117 to 114 during that time, prompting a plan to change the rules.
Official sources have indicated that in the absence of a sufficient number of officers, the functioning of the ministries and departments of the Center is affected. As a result, it has now been proposed that the state framework provide the number of officers after adjusting it in proportion to the number available in the framework.
“This will solve the problem of the real shortage of officers in a particular setting. The States requirement is only to sponsor a sufficient number of officers for assignment to the Center. The actual number of officers to be delegated to the Center does not will be decided only in consultation with the state government,” a source said.
Center officials said the need to address national security, disaster management and staffing of flagship projects and programs is currently not provided for in the rules, which now need to be amended. “There may be officers who have developed domain expertise in certain areas, but often we are unable to tap into them because states are reluctant to relieve them,” a senior officer explained.
Currently, not only the number, but even those who will be sent as central delegations from a list of officers who choose to work at the Center in a year’s time, are decided by the states, leaving little room for the government to Delhi, which seeks to be rebalanced by change.
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