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DoP grapples with shortage of IAS officers, more to retire soon

Jaipur: The Department of Personnel is grappling with the shortage of IAS officers. On September 30, when two IAS officers Ravi Shankar Srivastava and K B Pandey retired, additional charge of their posts had to be given to another IAS officer. The total count of officers holding additional charge has increased to more than 15. The situation of shortage of IAS officers is that in the 9 months of the current year so far, 18 officers have retired while by December 3, more IAS officers will retire. The problem of DoP is that it is not in a position to replace the retiring officers, then the easy and simple way is to give additional charge. This year, 4 IAS officers have gone abroad on study leave. Finding an alternative to these officers has also become a problem for the DoP. The fact is that the strength of the sanctioned cadre of IAS of Rajasthan is basically less. This, as on today, is 313 and 248 officers are working against this. Last week, Rajasthan’s Principal Secretary DoP Hemant Gera raised this issue in the meeting of DoP secretaries of all the States, called by the Centre in New Delhi. Prior to this, Rajya Sabha MP Kirori Lal Meena also met Union Personnel Minister Jitendra Singh. He had demanded that the cadre strength of IAS of Rajasthan should be increased from 313 to 365. According to experts, the demand of Rajasthan is justified. Rajasthan has the lowest number of IAS officers as compared to other 5 States. In Haryana, 77 IAS officers are approved per 1 crore population. The cadre strength of IAS is 77 in Punjab, 49 in Tamil Nadu, 60 in Chhattisgarh and 52 in Madhya Pradesh whereas in Rajasthan, only 39 IAS officers are sanctioned against the population of 1 crore.

Another aspect of the comparative data is that where an IAS serves an area of 206 square kilometers in Haryana, an IAS in Rajasthan is responsible for an area of 1093 square kilometers. Another problem is that after different types of central deputation also lead to further shortage of IAS officers in the States. As on today, Rajasthan has 19 IAS officers on deputation outside the State. Four officers are on study leave, three are on long leave and three are on interstate deputation. In this way, a total of 29 IAS officers are outside Rajasthan. The biggest problem in Rajasthan is the lack of ACS, Principal Secretaries and Secretaries. Today, the State has a total of 6 Additional Chief Secretaries available. Of these, 3 are posted outside the Secretariat. Experts say that there should be at least 8 or 10 Additional Chief Secretaries in the secretariat. It is true that due to the crisis of the officers, it is the compulsion of the DoP to give additional charge but there should also be proper justification in giving additional charges. DoP’s credibility gets dented by giving additional charges arbitrarily or in a biased manner. The latest example is that of Director Mines. Additional charge of this important post has been given to Pradeep k Gawande, a very junior IAS officer of 2013 batch. He is the MD of RSMM in Udaipur. It is not hidden from anyone that this charge has been given to Gawande on political recommendation, but it has put a strain on the credibility of the DoP.

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