The shortage of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers is affecting administrative work across the country and Bihar has the maximum shortage of such officers. This has been revealed by figures of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. Bihar faces the maximum shortage of 128 IAS officers, while Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal have a dearth of 117 and 101 officers, respectively.
Nationally, as against the total sanctioned strength of 6,396 (which includes both directly appointed as well as promoted officials), the country has only 4,926 IAS officers, which means a shortage of 1,470 officers.
In order to address the issue of shortage of IAS officers in regular recruitment quota, the government has increased the annual intake from 55 in Civil Services Examination (CSE) 1998 to 180 in CSE 2015. The government has also sensitised state governments to send complete and updated proposals to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for selection of suitable officers for the “promotion quota” of IAS.
Last year, selection committee meetings were held for the promotion of state/non-state civil services officers to the IAS, following which 175 officers were appointed by promotion. The government also organised training programmes for seven extra batches at Administrative Training Institutes to remove the backlog of induction training for promoted IAS officers.
Sources said that despite the shortage of IAS officers, the government is in no mood to increase the annual intake from the existing 180. Therefore, the situation is unlikely to improve in the next few years.
“The government feels that any further increase in recruitment of IAS officers could disturb their career progression. Moreover, there are issues regarding inadequate capacity to impart training to a bigger batch,” said an IAS officer.
The government had asked the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) to prepare a report in this regard and the IIPA report did not favour increasing the intake of IAS officers, maintaining, instead, that any increase in the intake of officers would “dilute the quality of bureaucrats”.