Bengal to send IAS officers to ‘cooling period’ after central deputation | kolkata | Hindustan Times
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Bengal to send IAS officers to ‘cooling period’ after central deputation

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee wants the IAS officers returning from central deputation be placed with the her office and those departments that are directly under her charge.

kolkata Updated: Jul 17, 2017 16:41 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
The ‘cooling period’ for the new IAS officers is an outcome of the widening rift between the Bengal chief minister and the Prime Minister.
The ‘cooling period’ for the new IAS officers is an outcome of the widening rift between the Bengal chief minister and the Prime Minister.(HT Photo)

Akansha Bhaskar is one of the five lucky new Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers of 2015 batch who were selected for serving the Union home ministry as assistant secretaries for a three-month period before they go back to respective home cadres.

But unlike the other four, Bhaskar will not get a full-fledged district posting as sub- divisional officer (SDO) immediately her return to her parent cadre West Bengal. Instead, she will have to undergo a round of ‘counter- induction’ programme as undersecretary either with chief minister’s office, or with any other state government department, for another three to six months before she gets a full-fledged district assignment.

Read: Mamata pulls up Kolkata school for playing Modi’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ to students

The reason behind this compulsory ‘cooling period’ before district allotment is the increasing bitter relations between Union and West Bengal government, with chief minister Mamata Banerjee viewing this compulsory three-month central deputation for new IAS officers as a brainwashing mechanism by the Union government.

If the Centre thinks fresh IAS officers need to spend a few months with the Union ministries to get acquainted with the way the Union government functions, they also need to spend some time to become familiar with the way the state government operates, feels Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (HT Photo)

Confirmed an official from the state personnel & administrative reforms (P&AR) department, after returning to state cadre these officers have to go through another induction programme with any state government department the period of which might range from three to six months. The decision is taken by the chief minister, who is also in charge of the P&AR department.

Therefore, Bhaskar is not the only IAS officer of 2015 batch to undergo such ‘counter induction’ programme. Nine others of the same batch, who were from West Bengal cadre will have to undergo similar programmes.

“The chief minister desires such ‘counter induction’ programme to be conducted by the CMO only. But since it cannot often absorb so many new IAS officers as undersecretaries, the rest will be placed with departments held by the chief minister such as home, health and P&AR,” confirmed a P&AR official on condition of anonymity.

Read: IAS body ups the ante against Bengal for shrinking central deputation

The system of compulsory three-month deputation for new IAS officers with different Union ministries after they pass out from Mussoorie-based Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) was introduced by the Narendra Modi government since it came to power in 2014.

“The Union government says that this is an initiative to make new IAS officer acquainted with the functioning of the Union government and its different ministries. The chief minister has a counter argument. In that case the state government, too, has the right to conduct ‘counter induction’ programme to make new bureaucrats familiar with the functioning of the state government, its policies and schemes,” the state P&AR official said.