Most secretary ranks opened to services other than IAS

Most secretary ranks opened to services other than IAS

By NAVTAN KUMAR | NEW DELHI | 24 January, 2016
The Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre has started the process of empanelling officers belonging to the Indian Police Service (IPS) and other Group A services for appointment as secretaries and additional secretaries in different ministries. So far, only Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers were given these posts.
The move, aimed at creating a larger pool of talent at the senior administrative level, has brought cheer to non-IAS officers, who have been complaining that they are not treated equally with their IAS counterparts even though they join the services after appearing for the same Civil Services examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). A group of these officers has submitted a petition to the Seventh Pay Commission, seeking pay parity with their IAS counterparts.
Cabinet Secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha set the ball rolling by asking the secretaries of Central government ministries and cadre-controlling authorities to seek nominations of officers for these posts. As per the proposal, the government wants to draw up panels of IPS, Indian Forest Service, Indian Revenue Service and other Group A officers for secretary and additional secretary posts.
An India Revenue Service (IRS) officer told The Sunday Guardian that this was a welcome step and will ensure more quality in administration. “There are certain ministries like Finance, Railways, Information, Environment, etc., that have officers from the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Railway Service, Indian Information Service and Indian Forest Service. They become specialists of these ministries. They are the most suitable people to head the ‘line ministry’,” he said.
Association of Retired Senior IPS Officers president, Sankar Sen said: “The government has done it despite the stubborn resistance of the IAS officers’ lobby. I think this is a good step, which will bring more efficiency in administration. At present, IPS officers are hardly made secretaries, that too only in the Ministry of Home Affairs. If IAS officers can head ministries, why cannot IPS officers take up the responsibility? After all, they also clear the same UPSC examination and are equally talented.”
The IAS officers are, of course, not happy with this turn of events.
The president of the IAS Officers’ Association, Sanjay Bhoosreddy refused to comment on the matter, saying he was not aware of the details of the letter written by the Cabinet Secretary. However, an IAS officer said on the condition of anonymity that there was no need to change the existing system. “IAS officers develop inter-disciplinary approaches, as, during their postings in districts, they get the experience of dealing with all departments, people’s representatives, public, etc. They become versatile and deal with any situation. An IAS officer is the most suitable candidate for heading a ministry’s bureaucracy,” he said.
He also cited a report by a Joint Parliamentary Committee headed by Sharad Pawar, which said some 13 years ago that all departmental secretaries should be from IAS. The issue, according to him, was deliberated threadbare by many senior MPs at the time, arriving at the conclusion that only IAS officers should head the departments.

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NC Chatterjee the then ICS CS of India recommended disbanding of ICS IAS so that the Govt will be run by experts in fields f governance.But Nehru wanted a group pf subservient bureaucrats to run his dynasty.India is country where versatile people available to govern country.When ministers can hold posts of govt by election although they lack education and experience why not the Bureaucracy be made from roots.The DMs be posted from grassroots bureaucrats not from IAS.The IAS are now all powerful running Govt.The episode of Retired army personals is example of their high handedness. They could not accommodate with views of people.We have seen that Govt has started a Personal Grievances site for knowing the problems grievances of own citizens but the IAS lobby made it redundant and futile.The replies came from them are insulting humiliating and unworthy.IAS must be abolished and a new system of appointment of bureaucrats from Professors Educationists Engineers army personal be adopted.

This is a welcome start, but the government needs to go much further. Ultimately, the top posts in government should be open to experts from industry and academia, like it is in the US. You may disagree with the international policy of the US, but there is MUCH to learn from the Americans when it comes to developing and using human resources properly - in other words using right people for the right job.

IAS lobby is citing a decision reach 13 years back by JPC headed by Sharad Pawar. 13 years is a long, long time. Things changes fast.

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Upto 1970, one found a large number of officers of other services in senior secretariat post. A.K.Chandra was finance Secretary from IA&AS.CAG was drawn from IA&AS.C.S.Swaminathan from IA&AS wad mines Secretary. Other services bring specialist knowledge into government unlike IAS who shift from posts.Until 1959, officers incl IAS were put in pools like Economist mic& Commerce, Political, Social Sector so that they are moved up in related sectors. Mantok Sindhi,Lavrak Kumar, and many others were drawn from private sector. IAS uses states or centre as sanctuaries and move across sectors without any background. And later claim their posting in an unfamiliar territory as part of their CV to claim a higher post.

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