(L-R) Additional Principal Secretary P K Mishra , PM Narendra Modi, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Principal Secretary Nripendra Misra in South Block | ThePrint Photo by Praveen Jain
PM Narendra Modi in South Block, New Delhi | ThePrint Photo by Praveen Jain
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New Delhi: Only one of the 89 secretaries posted at the Centre belongs to the Scheduled Castes (SC), while three belong to the Scheduled Tribes, latest government data tabled in Parliament shows.

None of the secretaries belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), according to the data compiled by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. A majority of the secretaries are from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

The representation of SC/ST/OBC officers in central government ministries/departments is lopsided even at the additional secretary, joint secretary and director levels. For instance, of the 93 additional secretaries in central government ministries, just six are SCs and five are STs, while there are no OBCs of this rank either.

Among the 275 joint secretaries, 13 (4.73 per cent) are SCs, nine (3.27 per cent) are STs and 19 belong to the OBC category.

The ministry maintains data for OBC officers from 1993 onwards, when reservations for that category was introduced. Since the Mandal Commission recommendations, the government had made 27.5 per cent reservation mandatory in government jobs for OBCs, 15 per cent for SCs and 7.5 per cent for STs.

ThePrint reached the Department of Personnel and Training for an official comment through telephone calls and e-mails but there was no response.

‘Higher age of entry’

Replying to an unstarred question posed by Trinamool Congress leader Dibyendu Adhikari in the Lok Sabha on 10 July, Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, said many officers belonging to the reserved categories often enter the service at higher ages, so a number of such officers retire from service by the time their batches are considered for empanelment to the post of additional secretary and secretary.

“As a result, their proportionate representation in higher positions in the government of India is comparatively lower. However, from amongst the reserved category officers available for consideration, efforts are made to give them as much representation as is possible,” Singh had said in his reply.


Also read: Modi govt is very ‘unstable’ for top IAS secretaries, transfers them too often and abruptly


‘Not allowed to reach the top’

However, Udit Raj, a former BJP MP belonging to the Scheduled Castes who once served as an Indian Revenue Service officer, alleged that more often than not, officers belonging to SC/ST category are targeted and not allowed to reach the top.

“Being a former IRS officer who is a Dalit, I can talk from experience. Frivolous complaints are levelled against officers belonging to the SC/ST category and there have been instances when their confidential reports have been spoiled by their bosses,” said Raj, who quit the BJP to join the Congress just before the Lok Sabha elections.

“I had protested against the under-representation of SCs, STs and OBCs in senior bureaucratic positions when I was in the BJP, but nobody is serious about addressing it. I paid the price for raising the issue,” he claimed.

Other reasons offered

A former IAS officer, who served as president of the IAS Association, told ThePrint that the lopsided representation is mainly on account of the fact that reservation does not apply while selecting officers for central deputation.

“Selection of secretary, additional secretary and joint secretary-level officers is made from the pool of officers who are empanelled for that particular post. If there isn’t an adequate number of officers belonging to the SC/ST/OBC categories in the pool, their number is obviously going to be smaller,” said the retired civil servant who did not want to be named.

A serving IAS officer, who belongs to the general category, said: “At times, senior IAS officers do not want to come to the Centre on deputation or the state government does not relieve them, resulting in a lesser number of SC/ST category officers in the upper echelons of government.”


Also read: Modi PMO studying plan to have ‘sectoral secretaries’ for better management of ministries


 

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19 Comments Share Your Views

19 COMMENTS

  1. Aarakshan_hi_jaatiwaad_hai
    Why a family member of an IAS Officer or high ranking official is eligible for Reservation. A lot of examples exist in our society who are just hungry for getting reservation, rather than doing hardwork for their future.
    Is baat pe thePrint k gurus kucch nhi bolenge, kyunki darr lagta h asli mudde pe baat karne se.

    Aur agar itni hi bhook h upar aane ki, toh mehnat karo aur upar aao. Wrna shortcut toh wse bhi le hi rhe ho.

  2. Modi might come up and say, I am an OBC! which he is.

    Caste representation is the stick with which, both Sangh and Liberals, beat the Left. We should not fall in this trap. If representation would have been the cure for all, caste would have started eroding when KR Narayanan, a Dalit, became the President of India and would have been erased by now, as we have Ramnath Kovind, again a Dalit, as President. Similarly, Muslims in India would not have needed the Sachars and RN Mishras, as their problems would have been solved with APJ ABdul Kalam assuming the top office! It does not happen this way. Because social movements are not the forte of Sanghis and Liberals, a fact which was so aptly demonstrated in the Sabrimala issue.

  3. I agree with Udit Raj views , the selection committee is so biased that they don’t want any tea coffee to come up. Yes this is what ST and SC are called.
    The very fact shows that the general category post elite things are reserved for few general candidate only.

  4. Those who believe in Mill’s Dogma that one country is not supposed to rule another similarly one caste cannot rule over others. AMBEDKAR

    In the above case what we are witnessing is only uppercastes (in the name of nationalism, patriotism, merit, talent etc etc)are ruling over others whom they don’t represent. Also uppercastes are just 15 % of total population.
    The biggest fault lies with OBCs who believe in uppercaste narrative and then suffer under them as a class. Wake up.

  5. This is a very imp news report. All sections of society and more so the marginalised sections need greater representation in senior positions in administration so that their voice is heard. However, by giving frivolous reasons, this govt is ensuring a savarna administration that merely caters to savarna interests. North Indian Upper caste male chauvinistic is the nature of this govt.

  6. What a cringeworthy animal this writer is! It’s abhorrent I know but I still wish for this nation of ours – In the new age and future that the nation will trodd on, I genuinely wish people like you cease to exist.

  7. In a new India we should not talk in the context of cast and religion only talk about qualities because baba saheb is also belongs to the SC /ST catogary and when we found freedom there was untouchbility in the society at the higher level despite this baba saheb wrote the constitution and his thoughts dominated over constitution
    because he was able for this and now untouchability is removed

  8. This so called “theprint.in” website is provoking and bifurcating the Indian citizens by highlighting the caste and community. Other side, while the country is striving for the development, and make it available as equivalent for all the citizens, still these hypocrite news writer wants to differentiate and prove themselves as if they are highlighting an important issue. Its so ridiculous news writer. Please grow up.

  9. This raises a question about reservation policy. Reservation is only resulting in people who are incompetent to serve at these top positions.

  10. It cannot be true. How can it happen when there 50% entries in administrative entries is through caste based parameters. There are more than 60% among “open catagory ” are also STs, SCs & OBCs. The data published in the paper is based on falsehood. & Has wasted interest of pushing Dalits away from Hindus. Majority of IAS are using surnames of generals.

  11. Secretaries are selected based on their academic qualifications, ability, knowledge and experience and not on cast or religion. The Print like presstitutes are there to divide the country’s population on caste & religion basis and create internal turmoil and dissentment among ppl

  12. You keep people in important positions based on their capabilities or caste? Reservation for entry is fine; But to reach top, one need to stand the test of efficiency. It is like someone in a media commenting on how many muslims have been given ticket by BJP in Lok Sabha. You give tickets for winning an election not to showcase you also standing in election.

  13. The country is abuzz with anticipation of something big transpiring in Kashmir. All you can do is caste baiting of the worst kind. Shame on you!

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