Concerned over 3,400 vacancies in all-India services, the central government is considering various options including increase in intake of officers selected through Civil Services Examinations and has expedited efforts to fill up the posts.
Sources in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, which acts as the nodal department, have said the government has started reviewing the vacancies in consultations with the cadre controlling authorities at both the states and the Centre.
They said a meeting is likely to be held this month to find ways to fill up a total of 3,408 posts in Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS).
Of the total, the highest number of 1,777 vacancies are in IAS followed by 1,255 in IPS and 376 in IFoS, including posts filled through promotions.
"There are large number of vacancies in the various cadres of the all-India services which, in the long run, may hamper the efficient functioning of the administration. The Ministry is considering alternatives to fill such vacancies in a time-bound manner," an official said.
He said the government may consider increasing number of officers selected through the Civil Services Examinations CSE).
"We will be soon holding a meeting with the Union Public Service Commission and the Finance Ministry in this regard.
The state governments and Union Territory administrations will also be asked to give their views on the matter," the official said.
The cadre strength of IAS is 6,154 followed by 4,730 in IPS and 3,078 in IFoS.
The official said the government will also review the strength of all-India service officers in the states.
"Every year the government is increasing intake of IAS officers to be selected through CSE. In 2002, 70 officers were selected through CSE which has now reached 180 notified vacancies this year. The government is doing its best to fill up the vacancies," he said.
Of the total vacancies in IAS, a maximum of 216 posts are to be filled up in Uttar Pradesh, followed by 118 in Madhya Pradesh and 116 in Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-UTs (AGMUT) cadres.
As many as 128 posts are lying vacant in Bihar, 112 in Rajasthan, 100 in Jharkhand, 92 in Andhra Pradesh, 80 in Karnataka, 78 in Odisha, 70 in Manipur-Tripura, 69 in Tamil Nadu, 60 in Punjab, 56 in Kerala, 55 in Maharashtra, 54 in Chhattisgarh, 52 in Gujarat and 46 in Jammu and Kashmir among others.
"The proposals of the state governments are also being considered as per the provision under IAS (Cadre) Rules, which mandate the Union government to re-examine the strength of IAS cadres in consultation with the state governments at intervals of every five years," the official said.
Acting on the direction of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the UPSC has also decided to fill the vacancies of IPS through a Limited Competitive Examination.
"There is an increase in the number of IPS officers to be selected through CSE. The Commission will recruit at least 150 IPS through CSE this year," he said.
The official said the vacancies in Indian Forest Service are not large.
"There are 135 vacant posts to be filled up through direct recruitment. The Ministry of Environment and Forests, which is the cadre controlling authority for the IFoS, is taking steps to fill them up," he said.