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Monday, November 21, 2016

J&K Govt’s 3 senior officers seek de-induction from IAS

Pervez Khateeb, Sarmad Hafeez and Farooq Lone ‘not satisfied’ with 2009 as their year of allotment

Ahmed Ali Fayyaz


SRINAGAR, Nov 20: Three of the senior officers of the Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS), who had been inducted into the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in the year 2014, have sought repatriation to the State service while complaining that their service before induction into the Technical Quota of KAS in the year 2000 had not been counted in fixation of their year of allotment into the IAS.

Sources in the State bureaucracy revealed to STATE TIMES that Commissioner Commercial Taxes, Paraiz Iqbal Khateeb, Labour Commissioner, Sheikh Sarmad Hafeez, and Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar, Dr Farooq Ahmad Lone, have submitted a representation to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, with a copy to the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) of the Government of India, seeking de-induction from IAS and repatriation to the KAS.

While the IAS service regulator, DOPT, was still processing the representation, a favourable communication from Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s government in 2015 recommended review of the year of allotment of IAS in favour of the three officers, stressing that their pre-KAS induction service should be counted. Coming from different State service streams, the three officers had been inducted into the TQ of KAS in the year 2000.

It is for the first time that any officer of the J&K Government has sought repatriation to the KAS and opted to forgo the glittering IAS after induction into the all-India service. Over a decade back, then Secretary to Government and now Cabinet Minister for Education Naeem Akhtar’s decision to spurn the IAS, reportedly for its “Indian” tag, had hogged headlines. Even thereafter, KAS and non-KAS officers had been jostling for their induction into the IAS.

Even after the J&K Government raised the age of superannuation for KAS and all state government employees from 58 to 60 years, a Chief Secretary recommended IAS induction for 10 incumbents, including some friends and relatives, and sent a special messenger with the courier to New Delhi. However, allotment of over a dozen slots of Secretary to senior KAS officers, coupled with hike in the age of retirement, has made the State service distinctly attractive, though it has irked the regular recruits (RRs) of IAS.

Placed in the grade of Special Secretary (Junior Administrative Grade: Rs 15,600 — Rs 39,100 GP Rs 7,600) before their induction in IAS, the three officers would have been by now in the grade of Secretary (Selection Grade: Rs 37,400 — Rs 67,000 GP Rs 8,700) and Commissioner-Secretary (Super Time Scale: Rs 37,400 — Rs 67,000 GP Rs 10,000) like a number of their juniors and at least one of them (Sarmad Hafeez) would have risen to the rank of Principal Secretary (Higher Administrative Grade: Rs 67,000 —  Rs 79,000) before his retirement. The induction into the IAS has only brought them down to the rank of Additional Secretary (Senior Time Scale: Rs 15,600 — Rs 39,100 GP Rs 6,600).  

“We had expected 2006 as our year of allotment into the IAS. Unfortunately, our pre-KAS induction service was not counted and 2009 was fixed as our year of allotment. In KAS, many of our batch mates and juniors have been elevated to the rank of Secretary to Government and placed in selection grade (37400—67000 GP 8700 and 37400—67000 GP 10,000). Some of them will retire as Principal Secretary to Government. Now, only one of us (Sarmad) will reach the rank of Commissioner-Secretary and two others (Khateeb and Lone) will retire as Special Secretary because of being close to superannuation. What’s the fun of this ornamental rank of IAS that reduces us to the rank Additional Secretary?” said one of the three applicants. He pointed out that Mohammad Saleem Shishgar “who is far junior to us all in KAS” was now a full-fledged Secretary to Government and had been holding the key portfolio of IT and Technical Education. 

Sources in General Administration Department (GAD) confirmed that the three State officers had sought de-induction from IAS and repatriation to KAS. “However, we haven’t received any communication in this regard from the DOPT, even as we have subsequently recommended that the three complaining officers’ service prior to their induction into KAS in the year 2000 be counted and their year of the allotment into IAS be fixed afresh. As and when this happens, it will benefit not only the three applicant officers but also others of the KAS to be inducted into the IAS in future”, said a GAD official.

“If Government of India does not acquiesce into our proposal, hardly any J&K officer, to be inducted into IAS in future, would reach the rank of Principal Secretary”. In other words, all the superior bureaucratic positions of Principal Secretary, Financial Commissioner and Chief Secretary would remain occupied by the IAS RRs, mostly from other States.


[Published in today’s STATE TIMES]

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