New Delhi: The central government has instructed all ministries and departments to maintain a register of government servants in the 50-55 year age bracket, and those who have completed 30 years in service, as it plans to weed out more “corrupt” and “inefficient” officials, ThePrint has learnt.
According to an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), all ministries and government departments will have to conduct a quarterly review of the officials, in order to ascertain who among them need to be prematurely retired from service.
“In order to bring in better clarity to the existing instructions and enable uniform implementation, an effort has been made to review, consolidate and reiterate the guidelines so far issued on the subject at one place,” the DoPT communication issued on 28 August said.
“The register of the government servants who are due to attain the age of 50/55 years or to complete 30 years of service, has to be maintained,” added the order, a copy of which was seen by ThePrint.
The order further said the register maintained by each ministry will have to be reviewed at the beginning of every quarter by a senior official of the ministry or department. As such, a review would be mandatory for the January-March, April-June, July-September and October-December periods.
Since it returned to power in 2019, the Narendra Modi government has been emphasising on the need to compulsorily or prematurely retire government officials found to be corrupt or inefficient. Last year, the government compulsorily retired over 50 IRS officials accused of corruption, sexual harassment, among other charges.
“The government has been very proactive when it comes to weeding out corrupt officials…This order simply streamlines the process, and makes it incumbent on ministries to ensure reviews are carried out regularly,” said a DoPT official, who did not wish to be named.
Committee to decide on officers for premature retirement
According to sources, the names of officials whose integrity is found to be doubtful will be forwarded to a Review and Representation Committee, which will need to be constituted.
The order said in case of Group A officers, such as those of the IAS and IPS officers, the review committee will constitute of the secretary of the service’s Cadre Controlling Authority — for example, Ministry of Home Affairs in case of IPS officers, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change in case of Indian Forest Service officers, and Ministry of External Affairs for Indian Foreign Service officers, among others.
In cases where there are boards — for example, the Railway Board and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), among others, the Review Committee will be headed by the chairman of such a board.
The broad criteria of this committee would be to recommend names of officers for premature retirement in cases where the officer’s “integrity is doubtful” or the officer is found to be ineffective, according to the order.
“There is also no bar on the government to review any such case again where it was decided earlier to retain the officer, but the appropriate/appointing authority is of the opinion that it is expedient to undertake the review again on account of changed circumstances, in public interest,” the order said. “In such cases, the appropriate authority is expected to demonstrate visible meticulousness as such government servants have been found effective on earlier occasions for retention in service.”
The premature retirement would be done under Fundamental Rules 56(j), 56(l) or Rule 48 (1) (b) of Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972.
According to the order, “The objective of Fundamental Rule (FR) 560)1(l) and Rule 48 of CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972, is to strengthen the administrative machinery by developing responsible and efficient administration at all levels and to achieve efficiency, economy and speed in the disposal of Government function.”