IAS LOS­ING GRIP

The Asian Age - - Oped -

Is it no longer im­por­tant be­ing an In­dian Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ser­vice of­fi­cer in the Naren­dra Modi sarkar? The gov­ern­ment seems to be in­creas­ingly re­ly­ing on other all- In­dia ser­vices for joint sec­re­tarylevel po­si­tions rather than the “heaven- born”. Ac­cord­ing to sources, this year, the Cen­tre so far has em­pan­elled only 11 IAS of­fi­cers for joint sec­re­tary- level posts, com­pared to 87 of­fi­cers in 2014 when it came to power. On the other hand, it has em­pan­elled 45 of­fi­cers from the In­dian For­est Ser­vice ( IFoS), 56 of­fi­cers from the In­dian Rev­enue Ser­vice ( IRS) and 70 of­fi­cers from the In­dian Po­lice Ser­vice ( IPS) for these posts.

Is the Modi gov­ern­ment con­sciously try­ing to di­lute the IAS dom­i­nance by chang­ing the land­scape of Cen­tral dep­u­ta­tion? Or is there a short­age of IAS of­fi­cers caused by what has long been said about the re­luc­tance of of­fi­cials at the state level to move to Delhi and work un­der the Modi gov­ern­ment?

Ob­vi­ously, the cur­rent gov­ern­ment pol­icy is a boon for the other ser­vices who are en­ter­ing po­si­tions held ear­lier by the IAS. Af­ter all, they have al­ways com­plained of dis­crim­i­na­tion in the rules of em­pan­el­ment, which favour the IAS. Per­haps Mr Modi is try­ing to con­vey that tal­ent is not re­stricted to the IAS alone. And al­low­ing lat­eral en­try to pri­vate sec­tor tal­ent in the higher ech­e­lons of bu­reau­cracy is an­other sign that the ground seems to be shift­ing from un­der their feet.

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