File photo: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. (Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)
File photo: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar. (Santosh Kumar/Hindustan Times)

Acute shortage of IAS officers in Bihar, many to retire this year

  • Presently, the state has just 202 IAS officers against the sanctioned strength of 359.
UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 09:44 PM IST

Bihar is working at just 56 per cent of the sanctioned strength of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers. It has just 202 IAS officers against the sanctioned strength of 359.

Bihar home minister in-charge Bijendra Prasad Yadav said this while answering a starred question from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Akhtarul Imam in the Legislative Assembly on Monday.

“Will the government tell the House the rationale of having such vacancies in the IAS which results in one officer holding additional charge of up to three departments and hampers developmental work?” Imam asked.

Admitting the shortage of officers, the minister said that the Bihar government has urged the Centre for allotment of 54 officers based on the Civil Services exam, 2020. “The allotment of IAS officers is done by the Central government among states and Union territories on the basis of the Civil Services exams. Besides, appointments on 22 posts of the 2018 selection year, 15 posts of 2019 batch and 16 of 2020 batch under the promotion quota are also under process,” he added.

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The minister said that there are 14 IAS officers holding charge of more than one department. “There are 11 IAS officers in the apex pay-scale of chief secretary while 15 IAS officers in the principal secretary rank are in the senior scale. We have requested the Centre for 54 officers from the 2020 Civil Services,” he added.

The legislator, however, said that though there was a shortage of officers across the country, in Bihar, it was much higher compared to states like Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and even neighbouring Uttar Pradesh. “With more officers retiring this year, the situation will get even worse,” he added.

Yadav responded to another query posed by Lok Janshakti Party’s Raj Kumar Singh regarding the delay in promotion of state government employees due to stay on all departmental promotion committee meetings till further order. Singh said that the delay has affected over 20,000 promotions. The home minister in-charge said it was due to the court order.

The minister cited the apex court order of status quo in matters of reservation in promotion for SC/ST and its own April 11, 2019 notification whereby the state government had stayed all promotions. “The government had started the process but following the Patna High Court order in on a contempt plea in 2019, the process was stopped,” he added.

However, the legislator said that there was no such order from the court to stop the promotion of all employees. He sought a copy of the government order stopping promotion. Rashtriya Janata Dal's (RJD) Alok Mehta also intervened and said that the court order was not being interpreted in the right perspective. “Sooner or later, the government will give promotion and arrear from a backdate. It is better the government grants promotion to its employees by the 2016 order,” he added.

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