Navin Kumar Choudhary, a senior IAS officer from Bihar, has become the first bureaucrat to get domicile rights in the Union territory
Bihar babu first to domicile rights to J&K
The Jammu & Kashmir administration has started issuing domicile certificates, 10 months after the Indian government abrogated Article 370.
The new rules allow non-locals to get domicile certificates.
Navin Kumar Choudhary, a senior IAS officer from Bihar, has become the first bureaucrat to get domicile rights in the Union territory.
A 1994-batch J&K cadre officer, Mr Choudhary is currently principal secretary in the J&K agriculture production department.
Recently, J&K lieutenant governor Girish Chandra Murmu launched an e-application to fast-track issuing of domicile certificates to both locals and non-locals.
Earlier this year, the ministry of home affairs had ordered that domicile would be granted to anyone who has resided in Jammu & Kashmir for 15 years or has studied for seven years and appeared in Class X or Class XII examinations in an educational institution in J&K.
The move has raised concerns in the Union territory about the Centre’s intentions, with some viewing it as an attempt to change the demography and cultural identity of Kashmiris.
According to sources, more than 30,000 people have received domicile certificates online in J&K since the Centre changed the laws.
West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and the Trinamul Congress government have been at loggerheads since Mr Dhankhar assumed office in July last year. The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has only sharpened the mutual recriminations passed between the state government and the governor.
We’re discussing this nth round of an interminable battle because it is to do with the babus this time. Recently, Mr Dhankhar took to Twitter and addressed the IAS and IPS officers of Bengal.
He referred to the All India Service (Conduct) Rules and expressed concern at what he termed as “rampant disregard and violations” of those rules in the state.
He urged officials to refrain from doing anything “which is or may be contrary to any law, rules, regulations and established practices; maintain discipline in the discharge of their duties; be ready to implement the lawful orders duly communicated to them; and perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of professionalism and dedication to the best of their abilities”.
The governor’s outburst is being seen in the context of reports of alleged mishandling of the Covid crisis as well as irregularities in the distribution of relief to those affected by the Amphan supercyclone by chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the state government.
Some see in the governor’s mention of “neutrality” a reference to the 2021 Assembly elections in the state.
A veiled threat
That babus in the Modi sarkar are reluctant to serve at the Centre has been evident for some time now. The Centre periodically asks the states to spare more IAS officers of up to joint secretary level for Central deputation.
The last such request was made in November last year, when the Centre sought officials under the central staffing scheme and for posts of chief vigilance officers. The response however was disappointing.
According to sources, the department of personnel and training (DoPT) has expressed concern over the minimal number of nominations it has received from various cadres and services, especially at the director level.
In an order sent to chief secretaries of state governments and secretaries of central government departments, the DoPT said the under-utilisation of these posts can cause “serious gaps in cadre management”.
Further, the order warns that this aspect will be kept in view while considering cadre review proposals received in the future.
The cadres that have not forwarded sufficient number of nominations for central deputation may have to settle for a smaller number of additional senior posts.
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