Dilli Ka Babu: Non-cadre cops for cadre posts

While it is mandatory to fill a cadre post with a cadre officer, there is provision for an exception.

Young IPS officers in Tamil Nadu are not amused. With the state government filling nearly half the allotted cadre posts with non-cadre officers, the IPS officers feel that their turf is shrinking. Sources say that 36 of the 76 cadre posts in Tamil Nadu are occupied by non-cadre officers holding the rank of superintendent of police or deputy commissioner of police.

Certainly, the IPS officers feel sufficiently aggrieved to complain about their situation. Sources say that S.R. Jangid, a DGP-rank chief vigilance officer of the state Metropolitan Transport Corporation has written to chief secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, pointing out that the prevalent transfer policy was in violation of IPS cadre rules, and posed a major disadvantage to young IPS officers. Further, such appointments were made despite an adequate number of cadre officers available in the state.

While it is mandatory to fill a cadre post with a cadre officer, there is provision for an exception. A non-cadre officer may be posted if a suitable cadre officer is not available. Prior approval from the Union government must be sought if the state wishes to continue the arrangement for more than three months. So far, the plea has not elicited an encouraging response from the state government.

Crucial appointments
When the new government takes over, it will have to take a call on three key appointments. Cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha’s extension ends on June 12, while Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Rajiv Jain and RAW chief Anil Dhasmana are both slated to retire in May-end. Like Mr Sinha, the two top sleuths are also on a six-month extension. The troika has been vital to running the nation’s bureaucratic steel-frame at one level and the internal and external security requirements at another.

Though the cabinet secretary’s post is for a fixed tenure of two years, like the home, defence and foreign secretaries, cabinet secretaries usually get an extension mainly because the Prime Minister looks for continuity to manage the bureaucracy. In fact, in Mr Sinha’s case, there is a precedent — both K.M. Chandrasekhar and Ajit K. Seth — served for four years each, due to extensions. Mr Sinha, who was appointed in 2015 for two years, got his first extension of a year in 2017 and the second one has been given now. The extension to Mr Dhasmana pushed the four contenders to be R&AW chief into the background.

Govt needs fewer taxmen
Since the Modi sarkar came to power, recruitment of officers in the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) has been falling consistently, even while the number of IAS, IPS and IFS officers recruited through the service has remained more or less constant. Apparently, it has declined by almost 74 per cent since 2013, including the five years of the Modi sarkar.

Sources say that there are over 15,000 officer vacancies in Group A services (including the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Postal Service, Indian Statistical Service, etc.), and over 26,000 officer vacancies in Group B services (which include the armed forces Headquarters Civil Service, Pondicherry Civil Service, etc.). Yet, the recruitment in both these groups of services has been going down drastically.

In 2013, 409 IRS officers were recruited through the civil service examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission. By 2017, this number had dropped to just 208. For 2018, the government released only 106, but it is not yet clear how many officers will actually be recruited, since the examination results came out only recently and service allocation is yet to be done. It is explained that the government’s requirement for IRS officers is reducing due to widespread digitisation, computerisation, data networking, etc. Further, after the introduction of GST, the need for manual intervention has further reduced.

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