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JK headed for an IAS crunch

Srinagar, Feb 05: With the retirement of five Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers, there is a chance that the governance in the state would receive a further setback, sources said.
Already the Chief Secretary B B Vyas is on a 3-month extension and his replacement is yet to be found.
As per the sources, the charge of the vacant posts created by the superannuation of five top IAS officers would be assigned to the serving officers in addition to their own duties.
Recently, Secretary Culture, Dilshada Khan, Commissioner Secretary ARI and Trainings, stationary and office supplies department, Anal Kumar Gupta, commissioner secretary, rural development and Panchayati Raj, Nirmal Sharma attained the age of superannuation.
Commissioner Secretary disaster management, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction, Shafiq Raina, and secretary cooperative department Bashir Ahmad Bhat also attained the age of superannuation.
It has been often reported that an insufficient number of IAS officers has been affecting governance in the state.
As per the details available on the official website of General Administration Department, the state has 77 IAS officers against the sanctioned strength of 137.
Out of 77 officers,12 have been holding additional charges, that too of vital departments.
Dr Pawan Kotwal, principal secretary, health and medical education, has been holding the charge of commissioner, food safety.
Similarly, Hilal Ahmad Parray, commissioner secretary youth services and sports has been holding the additional charge of additional secretary, technical education department.
M Raju, secretary Public Health and Engineering (PHE) has been holding additional charge of administrative secretary, transport department.
The state at present, can utilize the services of only 63 IAS officers as 14 officers have been rendering their services outside the state.
Among 14 officers, 13 officers are on the central deputation and have been rendering their services in the different departments of the Government of India (GoI).
B R Sharma has been rendering his services in the ministry of home affairs, GoI as additional secretary.
Suresh Kumar has been working as additional secretary in the ministry of coal, GoI.
Pradeep Kumar has been discharging his duties as joint secretary in the department of personnel and trainings, public grievances and pensions, GoI.
Pandurana Kondbaro has been serving in Maharashtra, who is on inter-cadre deputation.
It is worth mentioning that as per the rules, only the IAS officers up to 2005 batch are eligible for the post of administrative secretaries.
“At present the government doesn’t have IAS officers, who fulfil the eligibility for the posts of administrative secretaries. The 2006 batch IAS officer has already been appointed as administrative secretary,” the sources said.
The sources further said that prior to 2006, regular recruitment of IAS officers with regard to J&K was very less.
It picked up after 2009.During the period, 1996 to 2006, only a few IAS officers were allotted, the J&K cadre.
During 1996, 1998, and 2000, no IAS officer was allotted the J&K cadre, which is considered as one of the reasons of lack of eligible officers for the posts of administrative secretaries, sources said.
To overcome the deficiency, the sources said that consensus is being built to appoint IAS officers of 2007, 2008 and 2009 batch as secretaries of the government departments.