The 7th Pay Commission report is still grabbing headlines as the various permutations and combinations are still being bandied about and discussed threadbare and now it spans a big controversy that has to do with the near monopoly currently enjoyed by the IAS and how to end it, once and for all.
Moving forward, as per the requirement of the report, the Narendra Modi government has set up a task force to review the cadre structure of all Organised Group A Central Services.
This controversy has acquired increased urgency after the turf war between the officers of the Indian administrative and revenue services (IAS and IRS) recently reached a flashpoint after several IRS officers huddled together in Mumbai last month bringing matters to a head and this set alarm bells ringing at the highest echelons of the government.
The 7th Pay Commission task force will be headed by Department of Personnel and Training additional secretary T Jacob and he will submit the report in 3 months. What he will have on his hands will deal with 4 basic factors that include 1) the ideal structure for posts of joint secretary and above, 2) percentage of reserves in organised Group A services, 3) ideal recruitment policy and 4) way forward in mitigating stagnation level.
There are 49 Organised Group A Services ranging from the IFS, the Indian Postal Service, the five Accounts services and Indian Revenue Service (IT) to the 13 engineering services under the railways, CPWD, telecom, power, water and defence forces.
This move comes courtesy 7th Pay Commission panel chairman, Justice (retired) A K Mathur calling for an end to the dominance of IAS officials. However, there were divergent views in the panel on ending the IAS superiority.
Under the scanner especially was the joint secretary-and-above-level positions in the central staff. The 7th Pay Commission threw up the data: out of a total of 91 secretary level posts, 73 (80%) were occupied by IAS; out of 107 additional secretary level posts, 98 (92%) were with the IAS and of 391 joint secretary level posts, 249 (64%) were with the IAS.
The 7th Pay Commission said IAS officers get two extra increments at promotion stages and it wanted to extend the same to the IPS and the Indian Forest Service. Other all-India services and central services (Group A) are not getting proper representation either. The IAS officers always had a two-year edge compared to other services
The solution that the 7th Pay Commission panel unveiled said that all personnel who have put in 17 years of service should be given equal opportunity for central staff. The panel was overwhelmed by the reactions of Group A Services, who demanded that the services should have equal opportunities to man the senior-most posts and it should not be the preserve of a small group.
Source: The Financial Express