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Asom Govt wants changes in All India Service rules

According to sources, the State Government wants that Asom-Meghalaya cadre IAS and IPS officers who hail neither from Meghalaya nor Asom should serve their parent cadre for at least 70 per cent of their service careers, and the “cooling off ” period after the Central deputation or state-to-state deputation should be extended to three years from the existing two years. The State Government also wants that Asom should have a separate cadre instead of the existing Joint Cadre Authority, and that the officers should be encouraged to specialize themselves in particular subjects such as financial management, planning etc.

Sources said the strength of the Asom-Meghalaya cadre IAS officers at present is about 195, and a section of them is neither from Asom nor Meghalaya. A section of the officers from outside, more often than not, is on the search of Central deputations to New Delhi where they generally keep their family members. “Some of such IAS officers who are in Asom, on the other hand, are always on the look-out for this or that meeting at New Delhi so as to meet their family members settled there,” sources said, and added: “There are even allegations of officers fixing such meetings at New Delhi with those at the helm of affairs there.” It may be recalled here that in order to end this practice, the State Finance Department recently issued a circular asking the officers going to New Delhi for frequent official tours to report in writing within a week of their return to the State as to what exactly they did during their stay in the national capital.

After rendering a certain period of service in the parent State, an IAS officer can go for deputation for five years, after which he or she has to come back to the parent State at least for a two-year ‘cooling off’ which is too short a period for an officer to render worthwhile services to the parent State. “An IAS officer has to go to New Delhi frequently during the first few months of the cooling-off period so as to clear the matters with which he or she is connected. In the second year, majority of such officers again look for Central deputations, and can hardly render any sincere service to the parent State,” sources said, adding that the ‘cooling-off’ period should have been at least three years. “A section of IAS officers of Asom-Meghalaya cadres not hailing from any of the parent States hardly renders any sincere service to its parent State during the cooling-off period, other than ‘cooling off’,” sources said, and added: “There are even examples of IAS officers remaining on deputations in New Delhi for ten to 12 years at a stretch, on separate deputations though.”

It may be mentioned here that a number of States requested the Centre a few month years ago to do away with the Raj hangover of the ICS officer (now IAS officer) system, and instead elevate the State Civil Service (ACS in Asom) officers to do all sorts of jobs that were being done by the IAS officers, bringing necessary modifications.

\\"The Sentinel \\" 14.02.2007