Dilip Cherian | Withdrawal of incentives irks IAS, IPS officers serving in N-E
Not surprisingly, the affected babus are unhappy with the order, describing it as “insensitive” and “abrupt”
The Centre has withdrawn incentives and allowances given to IAS and IPS officers posted in the Northeast. The department of personnel and training (DoPT) had recently issued the order to all state chief secretaries informing that an additional 25 per cent basic pay, besides other incentives granted to IAS and IPS officers posted in the region, will be withdrawn with immediate effect.
Sources have informed DKB that the additional monetary allowance for IAS, IPS and IFoS officers belonging to the Assam-Meghalaya joint cadre, Sikkim, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur cadres was introduced in 2009 by the UPA government. Further, the incentive of reimbursement of payable income tax to Tribal All India Service officers belonging to the Northeast cadres while on central deputation has also been withdrawn. Additionally, the post-retirement housing facility introduced in 2007 too has been withdrawn.
Not surprisingly, the affected babus are unhappy with the order, describing it as “insensitive” and “abrupt”, and without considering the challenges these officers face in the region. Even Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma has reported as saying that he plans to take up the issue with the Centre and ask for the order to be withdrawn. The babus, too, are planning to send representations to New Delhi urging the government to rescind the order. Watch this space for updates.
Khattar govt trying a balancing act on promotions
Under fire over the promotions of IPS officers, the Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana has formed a committee to examine the cadre management of IPS officers in the state. The panel is headed by home secretary Vinay Singh and includes two officers from the state legal department.
The simmering issue burst into the public eye when four IGP-rank officers were promoted to the rank of additional DGP earlier in May. The promotion raised the number of ADGPs to 17 whereas the state has only 14 posts of ADGP rank available. Six of these posts are cadre posts and the rest are ex-cadre posts. The Haryana police has reportedly pushed for converting four ex-cadre posts of DGP to those of ADGP to cover the shortfall.
Sources inform DKB that Mr Khattar wants to adopt a judicious approach for promotions in the future for both IAS and IPS officers. Recently, after the state government promoted 1992-batch IAS officer Arun Kumar Gupta from principal secretary to additional chief secretary, the police officers are now demanding the promotion of 1991-batch IPS officers to the rank of DGP. The Vinay Singh panel will examine all these issues and offer a balanced solution to this vexed problem.
New CDS just like the old CDS?
More than nine months after the loss of Gen Bipin Rawat in a horrific air mishap, the Narendra Modi Sarkar has appointed Lt Gen. Anil Chauhan as India’s second Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). For the public, the sudden announcement put to rest the rumours about who succeeds Gen. Bipin Rawat. But those in babu and military veteran circuits say that the only surprise was that the government took so long to announce Lt Gen. Chauhan’s name, given that the parameters of the appointment which were constantly tweaked left very few contenders in the ring.
Lt Gen. Chauhan will also serve as secretary of the department of military affairs and permanent chairman of the Chiefs of Staff committee. The secretary role, sources have informed DKB, is to discourage the impression that the secretary position demeans the CDS appointment in terms of protocol.
The Chauhan story gets more interesting if one delves deeper. It is widely believed that the government lingered over this sensitive appointment to ensure that it found the right candidate whose outlook was compatible with the current political and ideological climate. Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that Lt Gen. Chauhan is from the same unit as Gen, Rawat and is considered close to national security adviser Ajit Doval, apart from the fact that all three are from Garhwal region.
Like-mindedness is clearly a virtue but not necessarily when it comes to an apolitical defence force. In his previous roles as director general of military operations (DGMO) and Army commander, Eastern Command, Lt Gen. Chauhan, some say, echoed the political views of the government. As CDS, he now has the opportunity to implement the government’s controversial Agnipath policy of recruiting soldiers for the three armed forces. Of course, this is just one of many challenges awaiting him. The big question is — how much of his predecessor’s radical reforms will he push for and what new will he bring to the table? We shall know soon.
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