New Delhi: With Jammu & Kashmir coming under the AGMUT cadre after its reorganisation as a union territory, a lower share of local officers is likely to enter the All India Services, ThePrint has learnt.
According to a government source, the central government is all set to change the quota for local Jammu & Kashmir officers.
Candidates native to Jammu & Kashmir comprised 50 per cent of the local bureaucracy until Article 370 was revoked and the state divided into two union territories this August. As a union territory with no special status, this number will drop to 33 per cent, as it is for the rest of the country.
The erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir was an exception to the pan-India rule for local representation in the All India Services. While 67 per cent of a state cadre’s members are drawn from the All India Services, 33 per cent are promoted to the All India Services from its local administrative, police and forest services. The same rule applies to the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre.
“J&K was an exception to this rule because it had certain privileges under Article 370… But now with the revocation, the pan-India rule is being applied to it,” said the government source. “It is a rule that is applied to all states and union territories in India…It will also lead to more integration of the region with the rest of the country if more officers from outside serve there.”
The source added that recommendations to this effect were also made to the J&K state government before its statehood was revoked. However, it was not implemented as a consensus could not be reached during the brief tenure of the BJP-PDP alliance.
‘Could cause governance problems’
The All India Services include the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Forest Service (IFS), and are recruited from across the country by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
Employees of the services are assigned a state cadre by the UPSC. Apart from this, every state has its own local officers, who are recruited by the state’s own public service commission — for example, the Kashmir Administrative Service in the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir.
The union territory equivalent for state-based civil services is DANICS.
According to the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act 2019, while the existing IAS, IPS and IFS officers of the J&K cadre would continue in the same cadre, fresh UPSC recruits would be assigned the Assam-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territory (AGMUT).
A senior IAS officer who was promoted from the Kashmir Administrative Service said the move could pose challenges for governance at local levels in the state.
“KAS officers who are promoted to the IAS have a very nuanced understanding of governance,” the officer said. “If you keep bringing outsiders, it will pose challenges because Kashmir is not like any other region in the country… It is a place where local residents are more likely to pose their faith in local officers as opposed to officers who come from the outside.”
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