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How Modi govt is training non-IAS officers for top posts to tackle cadre crunch

According to Department of Personnel and Training orders, only 33 of 73 appointments made by govt in the past 4 weeks were of IAS officers, which means 55% were of non-IAS officers.

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New Delhi: The Modi government has brought in a training scheme to enable promotion of non-IAS officers to the ranks of joint secretaries, directors and deputy directors, ThePrint has learnt. Part of the Prime Minister’s ‘Mission Karmayogi‘ scheme to train central government officials, the decision comes in the backdrop of the Union government facing a crunch of IAS officers across departments.

According to the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) orders, only 33 of 73 appointments made by the Union government in the past four weeks were of IAS officers, which means that 55 per cent — or the majority of appointments — were of non-IAS officers. Seventeen sets of appointment orders were issued by the Union government between 17 November and 14 December, resulting in the 73 appointments.

While these appointees are currently working in the railways, postal, forest, revenue, and defence account services, post-training, even the non-IAS officers will be holding positions generally meant for IAS officers across ministries. The Union government has also posted Indian Ordnance Factory Service officers in higher education, AYUSH, economic affairs and labour ministries, Indian Forest Service officers in earth sciences and Indian Postal Service Officers in civil aviation, among others.

Talking to ThePrint, Abhishek Singh, CEO, Karmayogi Bharat, the training programme for central government employees, said, “We are bring the training module to officers who are not from IAS cadre, but are now being appointed as joint secretaries, directors or deputy directors. The first batch started with around 40 officers who are from different central services, and have been appointed across ministries and departments in the Government of India.”

He added: “The training modules include the work procedures in the administrative structure. It is about managing stress, writing notes on files, drafting policies, and other secretariat jobs,” he added.

While Mission Karmayogi was introduced in 2020, as a training module aimed at capacity building and improving governance in the country, it also forms a part of the Prarambh (new beginning) module for new recruits, launched by Modi at a Rozgar Mela on 22 November. The event had seen the PM distributing about 71,000 appointment letters.

The government later decided to bring in the training scheme also for non-IAS officers, and add a course specifically for them, said a senior DoPT official.

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New pattern

The government has been raising the issue of IAS crunch for a long time now.

According to All India Services (AIS) rules, 22 per cent of the sanctioned strength of IAS officers. a total of 6,709 officers, is supposed to be deputed to the Union government. However, currently, only 6 per cent of the total sanctioned officers are deputed to the Centre, according to figures in the 2021 annual report of the DoPT, accessed by ThePrint.

Jitendra Singh, minister of state (MoS) for DoPT, told the Parliament Wednesday that a committee has been constituted to recommend direct intake of IAS officers every year, through Civil Service Examination (CSE), for CSE-2022 to CSE-2030.

To manage the crunch of IAS officers, the government started inducting non-IAS officers from other central services into the ministry.

“The government has no option other than posting non-IAS officers in ministries, because it needs to run,” said the DoPT official quoted above.

“There are 22 central services, and we are trying to make the optimum use of the cadre officers available with us. But we also realise that the officers coming from other services need to be trained about file noting, policy drafting, and about the general secretariat service, and bureaucracy,” the official added.

The courses are available on Prarambh’s digital platform and the officers need to sign up for them.

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

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