The government’s non-IAS central services have written a petition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging discrimination. They claim that the non-IAS officers are not being selected for top posts of Secretaries and Additional Secretaries.
The Confederation of Civil Service Associations (CCSA) also added to the petition, stating that a record number of non-IAS Group A Service officers posted as Secretaries has declined over the years.
This alleged discrimination occurred even though the rules of Central Staffing Scheme (CSS) states that the scheme was devised in order to cater to Centre’s need for fresh recruits at senior levels; like All India Services and organised Group A services.
As per the reports, 15 officers from Group A services got posted as Secretaries in 1972, which decreased to 5 in 2015. Meanwhile, the number of officers in All India Services which includes IAS officers with Secretay posts has increased from 30 to 73.
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These changes occurred owing to a modification of Central Staffing Scheme in 2001. The modification mentioned that there should be a two-year gap between officers from the IAS getting Secretary and Additional Secretary ranks and those from other services getting them even if they belong to the same batch.
However, the 2001 modification stated that, “… it would continue to be ensured that, for empanelment of officers of various Central Services Group A for appointment to the Secretary and Additional Secretary/equivalent at the Centre, there is a differential between the officers of the IAS and officers of other central services.”
An officer belonging to the confederation in a statement to The Indian Express said, “What this two-year difference does is that even if non-IAS officers are empanelled in Secretary/Additional Secretary ranks, they are not appointed to the posts of Secretary or Additional Secretary because they are not left with the requisite number of years in service — a criteria where the IAS officers get a clear edge. As a result, all the top posts are secured by officers from one service only,” said an officer of the confederation.”
The petition wants that the Screening Committee be reconstituted in such a way that the non-IAS officers be included. The petition wants speedy inclusion of non-IAS officers in Secretary and Additional Secretary ranks before any more IAS batch be added; seeking parity.
The petitioners include IPS, Revenue Services, Railways, Audit and Accounts Service, Forest Service and Indian Information Service.