The Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is facing shortage of officers at the level of directors/deputy secretaries, the backbone of the bureaucracy, with 88 such positions lying vacant in different ministries and departments.
And as against these many vacancies, the number of officers (on the offer list) on the department of personnel and training (DoPT) website shows 24 names, out of which only 10 want to be posted to Delhi.
While there is no comparative figure for the offer list, officers say at any given time, a few years ago, this list had 100 to 150 names.
The offer list is prepared after officers from different services (mostly Group A services) express their willingness to come to Centre on deputation.
“The number of vacancy at this level show officers are unwilling to leave their parent cadre for a Delhi posting,” a director in a central ministry said. The reasons for this he said are varied — from lack of office support staff to long wait for accommodation to non-allotment of official vehicles.
“While in our parent cadre we are given accommodation, an official vehicle and adequate support staff, here in Delhi getting a government accommodation is a tough task, an official vehicle an impossibility, and support staff a rarity,” another officer from the Indian Telecom Service on deputation to a central ministry said.
For IAS and IPS officers leaving their state cadres and coming to centre on deputation is far less attractive.
For Group A service officers another reason for not opting for a Delhi posting is loss of pay in switching from parent cadre to Centre. If they choose to join as DS/director, they will be given the pay scale of DS/director even if they have been promoted in their own cadre and are receiving more salary.
The government however has taken cognizance of the shortage and promised more facilities for officers at this level.
Dr Jitendra Singh, minister of state for personnel, public grievance and pension recently said the DoPT is contemplating provision of comfortable transport and housing facility for officers at these positions on deputation to the Centre.