Centre offers officers to Bengal, U'khand

Days after rebuking states for not sending enough IAS officers for deputation, the Centre has now offered middle-level officers for West Bengal and Uttarakhand where there is “acute shortage” of such bureaucrats.

In identical letters to the chief secretaries of both the states, the government has said they could avail the services of Group A officers, who “provide a strong and permanent” set up of middle level functionaries, on deputation.

Sanjay Kothari, Secretary of Department of Personnel and Training, said in the letter that these officers contribute ably in policy formulation, its execution and review. These officers perform the function of coordinating opinions and ideas to present a balanced picture.

There are about 2,200 Group A officers in the service in the designations of under secretary, deputy secretary, director and joint secretary.

“I understand that you have shortage of officers at the middle level due to low intake of officers in civil services from 1992 to 2006. The state governments may like to utilise the experience of the officers at appropriate levels on deputation basis,” Kothari wrote.

He felt that the arrangement will “enrich” officers with the required field experience at ground level in the execution of various schemes and policies and make them understand issues in a better way, which will in turn improve their capacities.

He has asked the states to identify vacancies and tenure of posting and inform the DoPT. After this, the DoPT will circulate vacancies among officers and nominate a panel of selected officers for deputation. “You (states) can choose the suitable officer from the panel,” the letter said.

Last week, the NDA government under Narednra Modi shot off identical letters to states, advising them against restraining officers from taking up assignments on central deputation.
The government needed 1,345 IAS officers out of a sanctioned strength of 6,217 but it has less than 50 per cent of its strength as states fail to relieve sufficient number of officers for central government work. With only 4,455 IAS officers in place across India at present, the states are supposed to send 952 IAS officers.

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