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IAS cadre edgy as state seeks their re­call from Cen­tral dep­u­ta­tion

India Today - - STATES - By Amitabh Sri­vas­tava

Fac­ing an acute short­age of civil ser­vants, the Ni­tish Ku­mar govern­ment has asked the Cen­tre to repa­tri­ate Bi­har cadre IAS of­fi­cers. Bi­har chief sec­re­tary An­jani Ku­mar Singh has sent a list of 14 sec­re­tary-rank of­fi­cers, who are on dep­u­ta­tion to the Union govern­ment, to be sent back to the state.

“Bi­har has a sanc­tioned strength of 342 IAS of­fi­cers. But the short­age of of­fi­cers has forced the state govern­ment to as­sign more than one depart­ment to sev­eral IAS of­fi­cers,” says a Bi­har Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion Depart­ment of­fi­cer.

The state has only 251 IAS of­fi­cers serv­ing at present. Forty-two of them are on cen­tral and five on in­ter-state dep­u­ta­tion. Ef­fec­tively, the state is left with 215 serv­ing IAS of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing of­fi­cers from other state cadres serv­ing as­sign­ments in Bi­har. Of the 27 of­fi­cers of prin­ci­pal sec­re­tary rank, 16 are hold­ing ad­di­tional charge of

other de­part­ments. The Bi­har govern­ment has ap­proached the Cen­tre to repa­tri­ate of­fi­cers at a time the civil ser­vants are re­port­edly not en­thused about a Bi­har post­ing. Be­sides mul­ti­ple power cen­tres in the JD(U)-RJDCongress coalition in power, of­fi­cers say re­ports of po­lice ag­gres­sion against civil ser­vants is a big con­cern.

Three se­nior IAS of­fi­cers in the state have been booked on cor­rup­tion charges. While 1987 batch of­fi­cer Sud­hir Ku­mar is al­ready in jail, 1991 batch of­fi­cer C.K. Anil, who is posted with the state Staff Se­lec­tion Com­mis­sion, has pro­ceeded on leave, ap­par­ently to evade po­lice ac­tion. An­other 1991 batch IAS of­fi­cer, S.M. Raju, has se­cured a ju­di­cial re­prieve against his pos­si­ble ar­rest in a schol­ar­ship scam.

Ear­lier, the state govern­ment had served show­cause no­tices to two dozen IAS of­fi­cers af­ter they held a de­mon­stra­tion out­side Raj Bha­van in Patna against Sud­hir Ku­mar’s Fe­bru­ary ar­rest. The no­tice asked of­fi­cers to clar­ify if they had taken per­mis­sion from their re­spec­tive di­vi­sional com­mis­sion­ers to par­tic­i­pate in the de­mon­stra­tion.

A gen­eral sense of in­se­cu­rity pre­vails in Bi­har’s civil bu­reau­cracy since July 2016 when the po­lice ar­rested 2013 batch IAS of­fi­cer Ji­ten­dra Gupta on charges of bribery.

Con­sid­ered an hon­est of­fi­cer, who had pulled the plug on the po­lice-trans­porter nexus, Gupta was de­tained af­ter po­lice showed the re­cov­ery of Rs 80,000 from his driver. The Patna High Court quashed the charges last Oc­to­ber. In May this year, the Supreme Court asked the Cen­tre to con­sider re­leas­ing Gupta from the Bi­har cadre.

A se­nior IAS of­fi­cer claims of­fi­cers on cen­tral dep­u­ta­tion are un­will­ing to re­turn to Bi­har in the cur­rent en­vi­ron­ment. But that may no longer be a choice if the Cen­tre ac­cedes to the Ni­tish Ku­mar govern­ment’s de­mand for their repa­tri­a­tion.

HOME FRONT Ni­tish Ku­mar with An­jani Ku­mar Singh in 2015

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