Dilip Cherian | Govt considers raising intake of IAS officers to tackle shortages

The Asian Age.  | Dilip Cherian

Opinion, Columnists

Proposal to boost intake from 180 to 210 seeks to tackle nationwide IAS shortages amid rising administrative needs.

Proposed increase in IAS recruitment aims to fill over 1,300 vacancies across India, signaling a policy shift. (Image: https://www.lbsnaa.gov.in/)

 

The department of personnel and training (DoPT) is reportedly considering raising the annual recruitment of IAS officers from 180 to 210. This likely policy change is based on a report by a departmental committee and the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA). 

If the plan goes through, it will mark a reversal from the first term of the Narendra Modi government, which saw a nearly 40 per cent reduction in civil services and All India Services (AIS) recruitments. Those in the know highlight the need for more babus due to widespread vacancies across various government levels, exacerbated by the addition of nearly 100 new districts since 2014. Currently, there are more than 1,300 IAS vacancies nationwide, which is a growing concern. The situation may now make the government reassess the limit it had imposed on the annual intake of IAS officers. Earlier, the prevailing view was that increasing the intake from 180 could compromise the quality and career progression of the babus. That has probably changed now.

Clearly, the situation requires urgent attention. Sources have informed DKB that the government is planning to fill 51 deputy secretary, director and joint secretary positions through lateral entry to address gaps swiftly. The move to increase the intake of IAS officers would be like the increase in the number of IPS officers and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers in recent years. Watch this space for updates.

 

 

PTC senior officials face Sebi wrath

In a bold move to enforce corporate governance, Sebi has come down hard on two top executives of PTC India and its subsidiary, PTC India Financial Services (PFS). Rajib Kumar Mishra, CMD of PTC India and director of PFS, got slapped with a Rs 10 lakh fine, while former MD and CEO of PFS, Pawan Singh, faced an even steeper penalty of Rs 25 lakh.

But Sebi didn't stop there. Both Mr Mishra and Mr Singh have also been barred from holding any board or key managerial positions in any listed company. They are also prohibited from associating with any listed entity looking to raise money from the public.

This crackdown follows the Reserve Bank of India’s directive in June 2023, which forced Mr Singh to go on leave until his retirement. Mr Mishra, who still holds roles as the non-executive chairman of PFS and CMD of PTC India, will now have to step down from these positions, too.

Sebi’s actions aim to send a strong message that corporate leaders must play by the rules. By holding these two senior officials accountable, Sebi is stating that lapses in governance won't be tolerated. The regulator is working to protect investors and maintain trust in the financial markets. It's a necessary step to ensure transparency and integrity in corporate India, fostering a healthier business environment for everyone.

 

Babu milestones become social media moments

Is it just your columnist, or is anyone else noticing how some babus are now taking to social media to announce their promotions and empanelments? While it’s great to celebrate achievements, this feels a bit out of the blue. Traditionally, promotions and transfers in the IAS and other civil services were pretty low-key, almost routine. You'd hear about them in the newspapers or through official channels, but now it seems like an officer is posting a celebratory update on Twitter or LinkedIn every other day.

What’s really interesting (or odd) is how these announcements are met with an outpouring of congratulations from followers and well-wishers. It's like everyone suddenly has their little fan club cheering them on for what used to be considered a normal career progression.

Maybe it's just a sign of the times. Social media has become a platform for sharing every little life update, so why not professional milestones, too? It’s definitely a shift from the past and maybe it’s even good for transparency and connecting with the public. Still, it feels a bit strange to see something so procedural get the social media treatment. Are we going to start seeing hashtags for transfers next? #JustPromoted #NextPosting.

In the end, if it makes people happy and doesn’t harm anyone, well, why not?

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