Chief Minister Hemant Soren has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressing deep concern over the proposed amendments in the All India Cadre Service Rules. “We are in receipt of a proposal from the Government of India which intends to introduce certain amendments in the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954. The disagreement of the Government of Jharkhand on the proposed amendments has already been communicated vide our letter no. 175 dated 12.01.2022. In the meantime, we have received another draft of the proposed amendments in the cadre rules of All India Services which, prima facie, appear to be more draconian than the previous proposal. I feel constrained to write this letter to express my strong reservations and apprehensions about these proposed amendments and strongly urge you to bury it at this stage only,” stated the CM.
“First of all, it is not clear as to what has necessitated this drastic move to bring about these amendments whose only purpose and intent seems to force any officer of All India Services serving in the affairs of the State to come on deputation to Government of India without the consent of the concerned officer and NOC of the State Government. If the objective is to meet the shortage of officers serving in the affairs of the Government of India then, I must say, it is not a desirable move because the State Government exclusively get the services of only three category of officers i.e. IAS, IPS and IFS whereas the Government of India, every year, gets a huge pool of officers from more than 30 odd other All India Services for which UPSC makes recommendations without fail. The shortage in the Ministries of GOI can be easily met from this pool of officers,” he further said.
“Here, I would like to reiterate that even though recruitments are being made after taking into consideration Central Deputation Reserve (CDR), the fact remains that there is an acute shortage of officers in small cadres like Jharkhand. As of today, only 140 IAS officers (65%) are working in the State as against the sanctioned strength of 215. Similarly, only 95 IPS officers (64%) are working in the affairs of the Government of Jharkhand against the sanctioned strength of 149. The situation is no better with respect to the Indian Forest Service cadre. This, you may agree, is not a comfortable scenario,” asserted the CM.
Soren wrote that many officers are holding more than one charge and the administrative work is suffering due to this acute shortage of officers. Further, forced removal of officers from this stressed pool will make it extremely difficult for the State Government to discharge its duties as are expected to be performed by any popularly elected government. Needless to state here, that most of the Central Government Schemes and Projects are implemented through State Governments only. The aggravated shortage of officers will hamper timely implementation of State Government and Central Government projects, he added.
“Sudden deputation of an officer outside his cadre will certainly cause immense disturbance to the officer and his family. It will also hamper and disrupt the education of his children. This will certainly demotivate the officer, lower his morale and create a fear psychosis in his mind. It is likely to affect his objectivity, performance and efficiency and the factor of uncertainty will always prevent him from giving his best while discharging his duties for the cause of poor people of a backward State like Jharkhand. He will also not be able to give candid opinion in matters which entail taking sides in sensitive matters of Centre-State disputes which are in plenty in a mineral rich State like Jharkhand. This scenario of duality will certainly impact their performance efficiency and accountability to the State Government. It will certainly cause permanent and irreparable damage to the functioning of bureaucracy in India,” said the CM.
“I would also like to iterate here that the proposed amendments seem to be contrary to the spirit of cooperative federalism and fundamentally they appear to be an attempt to design a lever to exercise indirect control over the officers functioning in the affairs of the State where the political party in power is different from the one at the Centre. These amendments thus strike at the very root of the Constitutional Scheme of federal governance. Undoubtedly this move is likely to further strain the already stressed Centre State relations. It has immense potential to be misused for harassment of officers and vendetta politics against the State Government,” he added.
The CM further said, “In the light of the above, I hereby express my strong reservations against the proposed amendments in the Cadre Rules of All India Services. I would request you, therefore, to reconsider the proposed amendments so that the space for consultation and cooperation designed in the existing framework of the Constitution is not replaced by unilateralism.”