Employees of Health Tele Helpline center work during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at IMA house Ernakulam District in Kochi on 18 April, 2020 | PTI
Employees of Health Tele Helpline centre work during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at IMA house Ernakulam District in Kochi on 18 April, 2020 (representational image) | PTI
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New Delhi: The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is planning to prepare a list of IAS, IPS, IRS officers with an MBBS degree so that they can be engaged more proactively in the fight against the Covid pandemic, ThePrint has learnt. 

Officials privy to the development said that in a meeting with DoPT officials last week, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh suggested such a list be prepared so that both the state and central governments can utilise the service of such officers if need be.

“It is a known fact that a high number of civil servants have MBBS degrees, and go through training in health policy… We are trying to get data on this to see if these officers can be used by both the state and central governments to make decisions concerning Covid more informed,” said an official, who did not wish to be named.

“The thinking in the government is that such officials should be increasingly appointed in health-related ministries so that there is compatibility in their expertise and administrative work,” the official said. 

“It is in keeping with the government’s efforts to bring in more domain expertise also,” he added.

DoPT spokesperson Shambu Chaudhary said the decision to prepare such a list was taken one-and-half-months ago. “But there has been no progress on that,” he added.

Also read: IAS officers, Nobel winners, filmmaker — states gather their best to battle Covid crisis

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‘Who will look after administration, and law and order?’ 

Another official gave the example of Mumbai where four IAS officers were given charge of monitoring major state-run hospitals in the city for effective management of Covid-related efforts. 

“In the face of the pandemic, a lot of IAS officers will be needed for this kind of work… So if they are well-acquainted with the medical stream, it would be very helpful,” the official said. 

An IPS officer, who has studied medicine, said the step is a “welcome one” as long as officers, who have studied medicine, are not engaged as frontline workers.

“In a sense, IAS and IPS officers are already the frontline staff… It wouldn’t be possible for them to shell out more time in hospitals. Who will look after administration, and law and order in that case?” the officer asked. 

“If the government wants to depute more officers to medicine-related postings, it is fine for IAS, but how do you do that for IPS, IRS or forest service?” he said.

Also read: Punishment or scapegoats? Transferred IAS officers end up sharing blame for Covid management


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3 Comments Share Your Views


  1. What an Idea the Government must use them with the Medical Background. I used to question these guys who are in Government services as high-ranking officials, when they used to say that they are from Medical Background, why the hell you choose MBBS to become IAS, IPS, etc., first of all, we are already a shortage of Medical Doctors.
    The seat would have gone to the student who prefers Medical/Medicine as their careers. Not only you wasted the opportunity but also the enormous amount the Government spent on your studies & facilities. The fee paid by you is a fraction of this amount spent by the Government. It is a crime in society.
    At least now let them voluntarily serve and come out of their guilt. If at all, they have.
    Nagesh Rao

    • No Nagesh you are wrong. There is no shortage of doctors in India. Don’t be fooled by government and media claims, just visit the nearby medical college and talk to the students, you will know that we have sufficient numbers of doctors, if not plenty.
      Secondly, the lead administrative officers (IAS IAS IRS etc)should be from a diverse educational backgrounds because the problems our country is facing are very diverse. For example if govt is planning to upgrade health system in some part of the country then a IAS with MBBS degree is naturally a better option than the one who graduated in history.
      You expenditure claim is equally valid for engineers, MBAs, professors, economists, lawyers and so on, didn’t government expend on their education?


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