Acting on the recommendation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission, the government has set up a task force for a comprehensive review of the cadre structure of all Organised Group A Central Services and sought a report within three months.
The task force, headed by Department of Personnel and Training additional secretary T Jacob, will give recommendations on the ideal structure for posts of joint secretary and above, percentage of reserves in organised Group A services, ideal recruitment policy and the way forward in mitigating the stagnation level, according to an office memorandum issued by the Department of Personnel.
Pay panel chairman, Justice (retired) A K Mathur, had called for an end to dominance of IAS officials in the joint secretary-and-above-level positions in the central staff. There were divergent views in the panel on ending the edge enjoyed by the IAS.
The anomaly is reflected in the Pay panel data on representation of various services in joint secretary (JS) and above posts up to September 2015.
It said out of a total of 91 secretary level posts, 73 (80%) were occupied by IAS. Similarly, out of 107 additional secretary level posts, 98 (92%) were with the IAS and of 391 JS level posts, 249 (64%) were with the IAS.
The IAS officers get two extra increments at promotion stages. The majority view of the Pay panel was to extend the same treatment to the IPS and the Indian Forest Service.
Similarly, with the central staff posts being captured by the IAS, other all-India services and central services (Group A) are not getting proper representation. The IAS always had a two-year edge compared to other services in empanelment for central staff.
The Pay panel recommended that all personnel who have put in 17 years of service should be given equal opportunity for central staff. Vivek Rae (a member of the 7th CPC and a former IAS) disagreed.
The Pay panel interacted with all the Group A Services, and they have all, without exception, demanded that the services should have equal opportunities to man the seniormost posts in various ministries, and that the near monopoly currently enjoyed by the IAS in this regard should cease.
As the long-standing turf war between the officers of the Indian administrative and revenue services (IAS and IRS) over matters of taxation reached a flashpoint after several IRS officers huddled together in Mumbai last month to pass a resolution and strategise against the department of revenue’s (DoR) alleged interference in their day-to-day operations and decision-making, the DoR has got the political leadership to back it unequivocally.
There has been a demand from IRS associations that the CBDT chairman should report directly to finance minister.
There are 49 Organised Group A Services ranging from the IFS, the Indian Postal Service, the five Accounts services and Indian Revenue Service
(IT) to the 13 engineering services under the railways, CPWD, telecom, power, water and defence forces.