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Around 20 KAS officers retiring in 2018; crunch in top-rung staff

Kashmir Monitor 1

Srinagar, Apr 20: With the recent retirement of nine JK cadre officers and dozens of other bureaucrats retiring ever year, The Jammu and Kashmir government is grappling with a huge shortage of officers.
Official sources said that many officers are retiring in the current year including around 20 KAS officers which would affect the administration in the state.
An officer from the general administration department said that some of the officers with superb track records are retiring this year. ‘Generally, officers retire every year. But from last two years, the number was big,” the officer maintained.
He said that retiring of such a big number every year would affect the administration in the state. “Government should make efforts to fill up all these vacancies,” he added.
Sources said that around 2900 gazetted posts including IAS, IPS, KAS, KPS, Professors, and Lecturers are lying vacant in the state affecting the work of officers’ assigned additional charge.
Nine JK cadre IAS officers retired in 2016 and 2017. Those included Gazzanffer Hussain, Vinod Koul, Arun Kumar, Mohd Ashraf Bhukhari, Zaffar Ahmed Bhat, Ashok Kumar Angurana, Tsering Angchok, Vineeta Gupta.
While, Bharat Bhushan Vyas, who too was to get retired, has been given extension. Now more officers are retiring in 2018, which as per officials would further effect the administration in the state.
Among retiring bureaucrats, sources said that some are holding higher posts like secretaries and directors. “Government needs to fill up all these vacancies. Several IAS officers are also retiring in 2018 and would further affect the governance.
Sources within the government said that there is a severe shortage of IAS officers in the state. “The state is facing a severe shortage of IAS officers. As of now, the fixed strength of IAS officials in the state is 137 against availability of 84 officers. Out of in position 84 officers, 11, including Braj Raj Sharma, Suresh Kumar, P K Tripathi, Sudhanshu Panday, Atal Dulloo, Shantmanu, Bipul Pathak, Ashok Kumar Parmar, Manoj Kumar Dwiwedi, Mandeep Kaur and Yasha Mudgal are serving in key departments of Modi Government,” wishing anonymity, one of the top officials of the government had told KNS.
These officers according to sources are “unwilling” to serve in the state. “The J&K government has sought return of all IAS officers of JK cadre from the centre, but the central government has so far given a cold response,” the GAD said.
Several JK cadre IAS officers posted on insignificant postings, while many are also unwilling to serve in the state, have sought central deputation.
Sources said that in Indian Police Service (IPS), the state is facing shortage of 90 IPS officers against the total strength of 147. Currently, 84 IPS officers are holding the State Cadre, 24 are on Central Deputation, which shrinks the number of IPS officers posted in the state to 60, officials said.
For the last six years, the official said that the state government has not sent any proposal to the Union Public Service Commission to fill the vacant IPS posts because of several litigations against the seniority list of KPS officers due to caderisation of KPS into IPS.
In June last year, the PDP-BJP coalition approved the caderisation of KPS after which many KPS officers started getting the grade pay of the IPS officers.
The government in May last year had asked the Chief Secretary of the State B B Vyas to constitute a committee for resolution of the litigations of KPS officers for induction into IPS.
Union Minister of State In-charge DoPT, Dr Jitendra Singh recently said that Centre was trying to persuade the cadre officers to return to their states. “Even if they are unwilling, we try to motivate them. We encourage the cadre officers to revert to their states and serve the people,” he had said.
Interestingly citing a shortage of IAS bureaucrats at the middle-level, the Narendra Modi government has asked all states to spare more officers for central deputation.
In a letter to all states, including Jammu and Kashmir, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the movement of the officers from states to the Centre and back is crucial for building capabilities at the state-level and contributing towards developing national perspectives at the decision-making levels in the government of India.
“It would, therefore, be appropriate considering the fact that there is general shortage of IAS officers at Deputy Secretary/Director level, if a conscious attempt is made while forwarding the names of the officers, so as to share the shortage proportionately between the Centre and the states and also that every eligible officer has an opportunity to serve at the Centre at least once at the middle management level,” reads official communiqué.