In a significant development, a high level government panel has backed the demand for empowering KAS cadre in Jammu and Kashmir and utilizing services of the officials in efficient way by posting them in the departments of their expertise. The panel members said the move wouldn't be disempowering the elite IAS cadre.
The cabinet sub-committee constituted to look into the issue of review of KAS and IAS cadre met on Tuesday here to finalize the recommendations which would go to the cabinet for the approval.
"The KAS cadre would be strengthened. The recommendations will go to the cabinet for final nod," committee head and Deputy Chief Minister DrNirmal Singh told Greater Kashmir after the meeting.
A senior panel member said thrust of the recommendation would be on empowering the KAS cadre "without disempowering" the IAS cadre.
Another key suggestion of the committee would be that KAS cadre officials with expertise in a particular filed should be posted at key position in the same field for better output.
"There is a culture that an official with an expertise in a particular filed is heading a different department which is resulting is loss of talent and the expertise. The practice has to end in different departments like education, health, industry, tourism and others," said the member, terming it as one of the key recommendations of the panel. "On the basis of this and other suggestions the cadre strength would go up."
Another panel member said the committee would suggest for increase in the senior level posts for the KAS cadre including the positions of secretaries, special secretaries and additional secretaries.
The KAS cadre review proposal was cleared by the Establishment-cum-Selection committee headed by former Chief Secretary Muhammad Iqbal Khanday after the Establishment Committee had recommended increasing the cadre strength of KAS from 598 (408 duty posts) to 784 (541 duty posts). Similarly, the Establishment Committee had recommended increasing strength of IAS officers to 161 from present 137.
The 5-member committee is expected to hold another meeting in coming days to finalize the report before it is submitted to the cabinet for approval.
The member said the committee would also be recommending for posting of the IAS officials in the field at the level of SDMs and other position so as to help them gain experiences before their elevation at key positions.
"The aim is to strike a balance and optimize the services of both KAS and IAS officials," said the member.
An official said the KAS cadre review had become due in December 2013 after the last exercise in this regard was undertaken in 2008. Similarly the cadre review of IAS takes places after every five years and had become due for the State in 2014.
Senior minister NaeemAkther who is part of the panel had told a press conference earlier that the cadre restructuring of both IAS and KAS would ensure balance between the two elite services.
Other members of the panel include Minister for Science and Technology SajjadGani Lone and Minister for Health Lal Singh.