Government proposes to amend the IAS appointment rules

Photo courtesy: Financial Express

No state government will now be able to refuse to send any IAS official to the Centre if the Centre requests it

The Modi government aims to change the regulations for IAS officer recruitment in such a way that no state government will be able to refuse to send any IAS official to the Centre if the Centre requests it.

To ensure adequate availability of IAS officers at the Centre, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has suggested modifying the current IAS officer recruitment norms. The Center has sought a response from the states on this by January 25. In a letter to the states dated January 12, the DoPT said that Rule 6 of the Central Government VS Indian Administrative Service (IAS) (Cadre) Rules, 1954 would be modified.

The government is expected to introduce this amendment in Parliament’s Budget Session, which begins on January 31. There were 5,200 IAS officials in the country as of January 1, 2021, with 458 of them assigned to the Centre.

With the passage of this amendment, it is expected that the Centre will have complete control over the selection of IAS and IPS officers at its level, and state governments will no longer have to consent to the selection. This is why numerous states have spoken out against the proposal, including Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra.

Important Amendment Proposals

If the state government delays sending the IAS official to the centre and fails to carry out the decision within the stipulated period, the officer will be removed from the state cadre. IAS officers currently require a NoC from the state government before they can be appointed to the Centre.

In collaboration with the State, the Center will determine the exact number of IAS officers to be appointed in the Central Government, and the State will then make the names of such officers eligible.

In the event of a disagreement between the Center and the State, the Central Government will make the decision, and the State will implement the Center’s decision “within a reasonable time.”

When the central government demands cadre officers’ services for the “public interest,” the state will carry out its judgments within a specified time frame.

Under existing laws, states are required to nominate all India Service (IAS) officers in central government departments, including Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, and this cannot exceed 40% of the overall cadre strength at any time.

In most cases, only the states in the cadre appoint IAS. The most recent example is the conflict that erupted in May 2020 between the Bengal administration and the Modi government over IAS officer Alapan Bandyopadhyay.

In another instance, after BJP National President JP Nadda’s convoy was attacked on the outskirts of Kolkata in December 2020, three IPS officials in charge of their security were ordered to be placed at the centre, but the Mamata government of Bengal refused, saying due to a scarcity of IPS officers, the state could not send the three policemen.

In 2001, a similar instance came to light. After Jayalalithaa was elected Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, the state police’s CB-CID stormed Karunanidhi’s home and detained him, as well as his colleagues and ministers from the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet, Murasoli Maran and TR Baalu.

The Center then requested that the state government to send three IPS officers to the centre for appointment, but Jayalalithaa refused.

In 2014, Tamil Nadu IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram was sent to the CBI, but the state government refused to allow her leave. Archana was suspended by the state government after she attempted to join the CBI against the administration’s orders.


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