In order to force government officers to serve hard postings, the Home Ministry has made it mandatory for the erstwhile Union Territory cadre officers, hoping to travel abroad on training or study leave, to serve in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram or the Andaman & Nicobar Islands before they file their request.
In a fresh set of guidelines notified this month, the Home Ministry has declared that officers who have not served for at least three years in ‘Category C hard areas’ would not be considered for Central deputation, to travel abroad for training or assignment or any kind of study leave.
The erstwhile Union Territory (UT) cadre is also known as the AGMU cadre, signifying the constituent states and union territories: three states of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram & Goa and Union Territories A&N Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Delhi, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
Delhi, Goa and UTs of Chandigarh and Puducherry come under category A and B, the remaining locations are designated category C.
An existing posting, requiring IAS and IPS officers to serve in a mix of hard and soft postings, has remained on paper, prompting the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to crack the whip.
The guidelines indicated officers who did serve in the hard areas often had to serve a longer tenure, since their replacements found one excuse or the other to defer their transfer. “An officer would not be considered for promotion to the pay scales above senior-time scale unless he/she has completed the allotted tenure as per policy,” the new guidelines have said.
The policy was driven by Home Minister P Chidambaram and Home Secretary GK Pillai. Both had rejected several requests from the Delhi Police and the Delhi Government this year, to stall transfer orders outside Delhi for officers, on grounds that their presence in Delhi was necessary to hold the Commonwealth Games.