GUWAHATI, April 20 - Is Assam facing an acute shortage of manpower at the bureaucracy level? At least the recent move of the State government indicates so.
The State government, in its latest decision, has opted not to entertain any more requests of the All India Service officers, especially the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, seeking Central deputation, at least for the time being.
�With over 30 IAS bureaucrats on Central deputation, we are not in a position to allow any more officers to go on Central deputation. We will have to maintain the cadre strength of the All India Services at all time,� a top State government official told The Assam Tribune.
Sources informed that the existing strength of the IAS officers of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre serving in the State is around 200, of which 33 are currently on Central deputation. Another IAS officer has left for the United States availing study leave last year.
Sources confided that the Department of Personnel and Training, as per the instructions, has recently refused proposals by several IAS officers in which they had expressed their intention to go on Central deputation.
�I would not say there is an acute shortage. But yes, it is affecting us. Until and unless there is an extraordinary case, we are not allowing anybody to go on Central deputation, be they IAS or Indian Police Service (IPS) officers. We need efficient officers to be retained in the State,� sources said, adding that currently only 12 IPS officers of the State are on Central deputation.
�We understand that Central deputation at important departments does give the officers due exposure, which helps in policy making. But then, the State has to be the top priority. At the moment, we cannot afford any more senior officers to go,� the sources opined.
Asked, if there was pressure from the Centre to the States to send more officers on Central deputation, sources said: �The Centre certainly wants more officers from the States. But then there is no pressure as such. It is the prerogative of the State government.�
The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions had recently released a report stating that India is facing a shortage of nearly 1,500 IAS officers. As many as 5,004 IAS officers are stated to be on the job compared to the sanctioned posts of 6,500 posts, leading to a vacancy in 1,496 posts.