The Himachal Pradesh government is feeling the pinch of shortage of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers in the state and is planning to recall the Himachal cadre IAS officers back from central deputation. “There is an acute shortage of IAS officers in the state. The government will recall the officers who have completed their central deputation,” chief minister Virbhadra Singh said here on Wednesday.
The total strength of IAS officers in Himachal Pradesh is 147 and 26 of them have been either on central deputation or on different assignments outside the state. The IAS officers serving outside the state include Ashok Thakur, RK Jain, Ajay Tyagi, Arvind Mehta, BK Aggarwal, Sanjeev Gupta, Anil Khachi, Dr AJV Prasad, Ram Subagh Singh, Nisha Singh, Manoj Kumar, Prabodh Saxena, K.K Pant, Anuradha Thakur, Rajneesh Pushpendra Rajput, R Selvam, GK Srivastava, M Sudha Devi, Vivek Kumar, P Basu Ingti, Subashish Panda, Asa Ram Sihagh, Bharti Sihag, Meera Mohanty, Tarun Kapoor.
“There are many officers who are burdened with multiple responsibilities,” said Virbhadra Singh. Tarun Shridhar is holding as many as four departments while additional chief secretary to chief minister VC Pharkha is holding three departments.
The government had earlier also written to different states to spare the IAS officers since the shortage of the bureaucrats was affecting the governance. In many of the departments, the gvernment has posted Indian Forest Service (IFS) officers.
However, there are also many senior IAS officers who are almost without any work, as they continue to hold single departments.
These IAS officers include additional chief secretary Deepak Sanan, Ajay Mittal and Manisha Nanda.
Virbhadra Singh also defended his decision to appoint an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer as resident commissioner at Hiamchal Bhawan, Delhi, a post which is traditionally held by an IAS officer. Inspector general of police (vigilance) AP Singh had been appointed as resident commissioner in Delhi. Along with the post of the resident commissioner, AP Singh also continues to hold the post of IG (vigilance). AP Singh has remained private secretary to Virbhadra Singh when he was union minister for steel and later when he was shifted to micro small and medium enterprises.
“Though it's for the first time that an IPS officer has been appointed by Himachal Pradesh as resident commissioner in Delhi. Himachal is not the lone state to appoint an IPS officer as resident Commissioner. There are five other states where the post of resident commissioner is being held by an IPS officer,” said Virbhadra Singh.
“Resident commissioner in Delhi is not a cadre post,” he clarified while talking to media persons on the sidelines of a book release at his official residence 'Oak Over'.
The chief minister underplayed the resentment among the IAS officers over appointment of an IPS officer as resident commissioner in Delhi. “There is no resentment among IAS officers. Only a handful of them had held a meeting. Their views cannot be termed as the view of the entire association of officers,” he added.
Meanwhile, Virbhadra Singh said, “The officers who had connived with the previous BJP government for wrong doings will have to pay for their deeds. The government is not targeting any officer, but those who have done wrong will face the music”.