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TN may lose out if Centre tweaks IAS rules to draw officers

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Tamil Nadu will be a big loser if the Centre tweaks the rules for transferring IAS officers from the state.

As of now, there are 19 IAS officers from Tamil Nadu cadre with the Centre, out of the 300-odd officers. Thus, there is a big chance for many more IAS officers of the Tamil Nadu cadre being taken out of the state by the Centre.

Though Chief Minister M.K. Stalin would oppose the tweaking by the Centre, but there are many posts at the Centre which should be headed by IAS officers, but are being headed by others.

Among the IAS officers of Tamil Nadu cadre working in New Delhi, the senior-most officer is Jagmohan Singh Raju, who is at present the Chief Resident Commissioner of Tamil Nadu. Dr. T.V. Somanathan is the present Union Finance secretary and S. Gopalakrishnan is in the Prime Minister’s Office as Additional Secretary.

The current rules allow to depute up to 40 per cent of the sanctioned posts of their respective cadres at the Centre, which is also used to calculate the promotion quota for IAS officers. But over the years, the number of officers from the All India services-IAS, IPS, and IFoS – has come down.

Official data showed that at the level of joint secretaries, the number of IAS officers on central deputation reserve dropped from 309 in 2011 to 223 at present. The number of deputy secretaries at the Deputy Secretary and Director level in the country has increased from 621 in 2014 to 1,130 now.

Also read: All you need to know about Centre-State row on IAS officers

But despite higher recruitment, the number of officers on central deputation dropped from 117 to 114 during this period, which made the Centre think of changing the plan.

The Centre wants all states to provide the number of officers on Central deputation, after adjusting them with the number available in the cadre. This will address the issue of genuine shortage of officers in any particular cadre. The requirement from the states is only to sponsor an adequate number of officers for posting at the Centre. The actual number of officers to be deputed to the Centre will be decided only in consultation with the state governments.

As per the Agaram IAS website, 10 IAS officers of the Tamil Nadu cadre have been sent on Central deputation in the year 2021 alone. IAS officer Ashish Kumar from Tamil Nadu cadre has been serving the longest term on deputation to Centre among all his colleagues who are in New Delhi. Kumar has been with the Centre since September 2018.

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