NEW DELHI Citing “insignificant number” of officers willing to work at the Centre, the personnel ministry has asked all states to ensure that required number of bureaucrats are nominated for central deputation to ensure career progression and exchange of relevant experience.
It said there is “extremely low” representation of officers on central deputation, especially at deputy secretary or director level.
The personnel ministry had in December last year asked all states to send officers for appointment on deputation to the posts under central staffing scheme and for the posts of chief vigilance officers (CVOs) who act as distant arms of the Central Vigilance Commission to check corruption in central public sector enterprises.
“Although a period of six months has passed since applications for 2019 were called for, the number of nominations received so far has been ranging from ‘Nil’ to an insignificant number. Attention in this regard is also invited to the extremely low representation of officers from various cadres/services under central staffing scheme especially at DS/director level,” the ministry said in a communique.
Every cadre is allowed a deputation reserve to ensure that officers have the opportunity to work on deputation including that under the central staffing scheme, which adds to their experience, it said.
“Under utilization of this reserve, particularly at deputy secretary/director level, causes serious gaps in cadre management,” the ministry pointed out.
This aspect would also be kept in view while considering cadre review proposals, to be received in future, it cautioned.
“The cadres that have not been forwarding adequate nominations for central staffing scheme at various levels may have to settle for less number of additional senior duty posts in future by way of corresponding reduction. These aspects have been duly conveyed to the cadre-controlling authorities during the recent meetings taken by the secretary, Department of Personnel and Training,” the ministry said.
It is, therefore, requested that larger number of officers may kindly be recommended for appointment at DS/director/joint secretary level under the central staffing scheme so that the central deputation reserve/deputation reserves are duly utilized for this purpose, the order said.
The states were also asked to ensure that the officers who are at the verge of promotion to senior grades are “not nominated” as it often necessitates their early repatriation to avail of promotion in the cadre.
“It may be ensured that the names of only those officers are forwarded who are likely to remain available under the central staffing scheme for full tenure,” it said.
In its 2018 letter, the ministry had said the movement of officers from the states to the Centre and back is crucial for building up the capabilities at the state level and contributing towards developing state perspectives in the Government of India or national perspective in the state at the decision-making levels.
“Considering the general shortage of lAS officers at deputy secretary/director level, it would be appropriate if a conscious effort is made to nominate officers from your cadre and share the shortage proportionately between the Centre and the states. This will also ensure that every eligible officer has an opportunity to serve at the Centre at least once at the middle management level,” it had said.
The ministry had shared figures with the states showing “adequate number of officers” were not being nominated to work at the Centre.
According to the data, eight IAS officers of West Bengal cadre were working at the Centre against their central deputation reserve of 78.
Similarly, 44 IAS officers of Uttar Pradesh cadre were working at the Centre as against 134. As few as 20 IAS officers of Karnataka were working at the Centre against the strength of 68.
Chhattisgarh has sent seven IAS officers against 38, Madhya Pradesh has nominated 27 against 90, Bihar has sent 36 such bureaucrats against 74 and Odisha has nominated 20 against 51.
A total of 19 IAS officers were working at the Centre against the strength of 81 from West Bengal, Haryana has sent 12 against 44, Gujarat has nominated 17 against 64, Andhra Pradesh has sent 18 against 46 and Jammu and Kashmir has sent 14 IAS officers against 30, among others.
The central government has also decided to appoint 40 private sector specialists at the posts of deputy secretary and director, considered as crucial decision-making levels in the bureaucratic hierarchy.