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By the Way

Fading sheen of Delhi Darbar

The graveyards are full of indispensable men, said Charles De Gaulle. This apparently appears to be true with the central government. Raisina Hills is facing an acute shortage of IAS and IPS officers. Sources disclosed that senior officers who used to join on deputation and serve as Joint Secretary are no longer enthused about coming to Delhi. Senior civil servants report that an atmosphere of fear pervades Raisina Hills and there appears to be trust deficit. This vacuum has opened unthinkable opportunities for allied service officers who, though, are designated at the end of their career as Secretary or Additional Secretary, never get an opportunity to run the ministries directly. As one can observe from the list of Ministry of Home Affairs, most Joint Secretary-level officers are from Central Secretariat Services, Indian Defence Account Services (IDAS), and Indian Postal Services. Even Joint Secretary Police 1, which used to be headed by an IAS officer has now been allotted to an IDAS officer. There is a shortage of 1494 officers against the sanctioned strength of 6699. The Central Government requires 1494 officers to run the system efficiently but only 511 officers are available with the Department of Personnel and Training. One Secretary who has been just superannuated felt that it is the loss of IAS services that officers are not opting for central deputation. If this persists, other service officers will not yield to the IAS fraternity in the future.

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