Parity between IAS and non-IAS? The IAS will get to decide
The Indian Administrative Service (IAS) may be able to retain its edge vis-a-vis the police and other central services.
The Centre’s decision to give the IAS an upper hand in the committee of officers – being set up to study the seventh pay panel recommendations -- may have sealed the fate of non-IAS officers fighting a bitter battle for parity with their IAS counterparts.
At least 8 of the 13 members of the empowered committee of secretaries approved by the Union Cabinet to screen the pay panel recommendations on Wednesday are IAS officers.
A 9th member, secretary (security) at the cabinet secretariat, also is an IAS officer. But the inclusion of his office could be an oversight since the post has traditionally been with the Indian Police Service (IPS). “I think this will be rectified,” an IPS officer said. If it is not, the IPS will not have a representative in the committee.
In its report, two of the three members of the pay commission had backed demands that the edge for the IAS in pay and career progression should be blunted. The third member, retired IAS officer Vivek Rae, had, however, given his dissent note.
The Confederation of Civil Service Associations (CoCSA) – a group of 20 civil services such as the police and revenue that is fighting the battle for parity with the IAS – had anticipated the empowered committee would be loaded in favour of the IAS.
In a representation to the government last month, CoCSA had demanded that bodies related to the implementation of the CPC report should not be dominated by the IAS and have equitable representation to various other services.
A CoCSA member said if the cabinet had taken a decision, they really did not have an option but to honour it. “But was the cabinet apprised about our concerns or did it take a decision on inadequate information,” he said.
A senior IAS officer said their counterparts from the non-IAS services were making a mole out of a molehill since most key secretaries – who had to be involved – were from the IAS. “I don’t think it really makes a difference… IAS officers do not view everything from the prism of the IAS and non-IAS but the merits of the case,” the officer added.