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Short by over 100 IAS officers, Bihar seeks early return of babus on central deputation

Many officers have overstayed the prescribed duration of their central deputation, causing a shortage of bureaucrats in Bihar and blocking the path of others awaiting their turn for a stint in New Delhi.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2017 19:54 IST
Anirban Guha Roy
Anirban Guha Roy
Hindustan Times, Patna
IAS officers,Central deputation,Bihar shortage
The Patna main secretariat building, headquarters of Bihar’s bureaucracy. (Representative image)

IAS officers keen to go on central deputation for a posting in the union government will have to wait for their turn as the Bihar government, facing a severe shortage of the secretary/principal secretary ranks, is in no mood to let them go.

Rather, the state government has sent a request to the ministry of personnel to return the services of 18 senior IAS officers in the secretary and principal secretary ranks, to their home state, owing to the shortage it is facing. They are from 1989 to 2001 batches.

“We have sent the request for their return last week and hoping for a positive response from the union government. The request has been made in view of the shortage of officers at the senior level in the state cadre,” said, D S Gangwar, principal secretary, general administration department.

Incidentally, Gangwar, a 1989 batch officer, himself figures on the list of officers in line for central deputation but has to wait for his turn because of the shortage.

As per figures cited by Bihar’s general administration department, the sanctioned strength of IAS officers in the state is 340. As against this, the actual availability in the state is 190, including officers promoted from state administrative service to all India service.

In addition, 41 officers are on central deputation, while five officers on deputation to other states.

However, Jitendra Singh, minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions, had made a written submission in the Lok sabha in March this year, stating, that at 128, Bihar had the highest IAS vacancies among all states. .

This shortfall is stated to be the reason why some officers have been given responsibility of three to four departments in the state secretariat. At the field level, the scenario is better given the increase in allotment of officers from the UPSC to state in recent years, facilitating the posting of young officers as SDOs and DDCs.

Under the service rules, an officer having completed nine years of service in state cadre can apply for central deputation for five years and again apply for union posting after having served in state cadre for another three years.

As such, the government’s reluctance to release officers for central deputation has become a sore point for many.

“We understand there is crisis. But delaying the central deputation requests of officers is not a good practice as it impedes their career growth. Besides, the state too suffers in terms of experience an officer brings to the state from central deputation ,” said a senior IAS officer, seeking anonymity.

He said the all India services had been structured in such a way as to enable officers to gain administrative and policy making experience during their stint in central posting and apply the same during their service in the home cadre.

“Even the union government benefits from central posting as officers from various states take their experience of state affairs to policy making at the centre,” he added.

While hoping the return from central deputation of their colleagues would clear their way for a central stint, some officers pointed out that the shortage of senior officers in Bihar has been aggravated in last few years because some officers had overstayed their central stint.

First Published: Jun 07, 2017 19:54 IST