As the home ministry tries to salvage its plan to hold limited competitive examinations for fast-track induction of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, the government is mulling a similar mechanism for the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) that also faces a severe shortage of officers.
According to figures available with the Department of Personnel and Training, at least 1,155 posts are vacant in the IAS as compared to 631 vacancies within the IPS as on January 2010.
“The vacancy position is much worse in the IAS than the IPS,” a senior government official said.
Citing statistics compiled by the Department of Personnel and Training — the nodal department in the government responsible for its personnel policies — the official said there were 580 fewer IAS officers in the country this year than in 2001.
“The number of IAS officers peaked in 2001 when there were 5,118 officers. It was since then steadily declined,” the official said.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram took note of the havoc that faulty recruitment policies had played with the police administration. Soon after taking charge of the ministry, he appointed the Kamal Kumar panel last year to work out a recruitment plan for the IPS officers for the next decade.
Chidambaram proposed to hold a special examination for police officers in the rank of Assistant Commandants and Deputy Superintendent of Police. But the Union Public Service Commission had expressed its reservations.
The home ministry — conscious of the impact that the shortages were having — has moved the Prime Minister’s Office.
Chidambaram has already convened a meeting for Friday to thrash out differences over the manner in which the home ministry should recruit young police officers serving in state police and central police organisations.
Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily and Minister of State in the PMO Prithviraj Chavan, who also holds charge for the Department of Personnel and Training, are expected to attend the meeting.