New Delhi: The country is facing a massive shortage of 2,418 IAS (Indian Administrative Service) and IPS (Indian Police Service) officers. Of the total sanctioned 11,697 posts for both these services, which include recruitment done through Regular Recruit (RR) quota as well as Promotion Quota, only 9,279 are presently filled, with 2,418 positions, or 20% of the posts still being vacant.

Of these total vacancies, 942 vacancies are of posts of directly recruited IAS officers and 460 of directly recruited IPS officers, as per government data. Of the 4,661 sanctioned strength of directly recruited IAS officers, 3,719 posts are filled. In the case of IPS, of the 3,452 sanctioned numbers, only 2,992 are filled.

Apart from these 1,402 vacancies (942+460), there is a shortage of 568 IAS officers who join the all-India services through the promotion quota, by moving upward from the state service to the all India services. The sanctioned posts for such promoted IAS officers are 2,054, while only 1,486 posts are filled as of now.

In the case of the IPS, the vacancy at sanctioned posts for promoted state service officers is 448 of the total sanctioned posts of 1,530, of which only 1,082 are filled.

In effect, of the total sanctioned posts of 6,715 IAS officers (direct recruit 4,661+2,054 promotion quota), 5,205 such posts are occupied, leaving 1,510 posts vacant.

In the case of the IPS, of the total 4,982 total posts (direct recruit 3,452+1,530 promotion quota), 4,074 posts are filled. In total, the country is working with a shortage of 2,418 IAS and IPS officers of the total sanctioned posts of 11,697 or 20% less officials than sanctioned.

This situation is expected to continue for long unless some drastic steps are taken either to increase the intake of officers for such posts or gradually decrease the number of such posts, and move from a generalist cadre of bureaucrats to specialists.

This is because as per rules, the government can recruit only 180 IAS officers and 200 IPS officers every year through the Civil Services Examination (CSE). More than 10 lakh candidates appear for the preliminaries of the CSE every year of which around 1% or 10,000 become eligible for the mains examinations. Out of this, roughly 3,000 candidates are called for the final interview which is held for approximately 1,000 such all India services posts.

According to a former IAS officer, who advises the present government on policy issues, it was clear that the government was trying to move away “gradually” from the “much costly” all India services and moving towards the “much efficient” system of recruiting specialists from the private sector.