J&K facing dearth of IAS officers

Jammu and Kashmir is facing dearth of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers: against the 137 sanctioned strength (in the erstwhile state of J&K), only 62 are available, of which 53 are serving, eight are on deputation and one has forwarded his resignation.

“It is intimated that the cadre strength of Jammu and Kashmir cadre of IAS was notified 137 posts (which includes duty posts, central deputation reserves, leave reserves, training reserves etc) before the bifurcation of erstwhile state of J&K into two successive UTS of J&K and Ladakh,” J&K General Administration Department replies to an RTI application.

According to the reply, out of 137 sanctioned J&K cadre of IAS, there are only 62 IAS officers available, of whom 58 are from J&K cadre and four are outside cadre officers posted here which includes incumbent Chief Secretary, BVR Subhrahamanyan.

The reply states that out of 58 IAS officers of J&K cadre, eight are on deputation to the central government.

The IAS officers on deputation are: Pradip Kumar Tripathi,  Ministry of Steel, GOI, Sudhashu Pandey, Department of Food and Public Distribution, GOI, Sandip Kumar Nayak, National Cooperative Development Corporation of India, GOI,  Raj Kumar Goyal, Ministry of External Affairs, GOI, Shantamanu, Ministry of Textile, GOI,  Ashok Kumar Parmal, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, GOI, Dr Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Health GOI, Tasneem Majeed, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, GOI.

The RTI reply has revealed that the case of Shah Faesal’s resignation is awaiting acceptance from GOI. The resignation of Faesal who had topped the IAS, then floated his own political party and later parted ways from the politics, is still awaiting clearance from the Department of Personnel Trainings GOI. “Shah Faesal, the officer submitted his resignation which has been forwarded to DOPT GOI for acceptance.”

The erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir was bifurcated and re-categorised last year as the UTs of J&K and Ladakh. Until then, the J&K cadre served Ladakh as well. There is a proposal to merge the J&K cadre with AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram, and Union Territories) in light of the reorganization, but it has yet to be executed.

According to officials, the issue of shortage of IAS officers in J&K is not a new phenomena. They say that ‘it has been going on for many years as few officers are sent to J&K every year through direct recruitment. The bifurcation of the erstwhile state has exacerbated the shortage as several officers from the J&K cadre have been moved to Ladakh.’

It is pertinent to mention, that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written letters to all cadre-controlling authorities, directing them to send IAS, IPS and other all-India service officers on deputation to the union territories (UTs) of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh amid an “acute shortage” there.

The MHA asked the authorities to “provide the name(s) of suitable officer(s), eligible for deputation in terms of existing guidelines and willing to serve in the Governments of UT of J&K/UT of Ladakh, along with the cadre-controlling authorities consent/no objection and vigilance clearance of the officers at the earliest”.