With the Haryana government recently transferring Pradeep Kasni, an IAS officer, twice in 48 hours, union minister of state for personnel Jitendra Singh said he was aware of frequent transfers in states, but could do little about it. Kasni has been transferred 65 times in 36 years.
On transfers of IAS officers before completion of their twoyear tenure, the minister said, “We can’t take action against state governments…as of now, we do not have authority to take action.”
Singh, who also holds the charges of Union minister of state (independent charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, personnel, public grievances, pensions, atomic energy and space, added that usually chief ministers held the departments that handled the transfers of IAS officers.
He said that after the Central government, some state governments had abolished interviews for Class 3 and Class 4 jobs. “A lot of people are in transport business here, so people say there can be no jack now,” he said in a lighter vein, referring to the tendency among people to pull strings to get their near and dear ones placed in these jobs.
He added that the Punjab government had not yet abolished interviews, as had some other states where the BJP was either in power or was the leading partner in the government. “After 70 years, we have stopped the practice of getting certificates attested from gazetted officers…once, even I had to pay bribe of Rs 5 to get certificates attested,” he said.
On the media, he said, “The line between report and comment has blurred.”