The shortage of All Indian Service (AIS) officers continues to plague the center as only three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers have come forward to be available for the central deputation, according to data from the Ministry of Intelligence. ‘Interior to July 18.
The officers all hold the rank of superintendent of police. There are no offers of senior officers in the ranks of Director General of Police, Additional Director General of Police, Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General expressing their willingness to be assigned to the government of the ‘Union.
By comparison, an October 2018 vacancies list from the ministry shows that up to 14 IPS officers were willing to serve as central deputies.
According to ministry data as of July 18, there are 263 vacancies for IPS officers in 17 central organizations such as the Central Bureau of Investigation, Central Armed Police Force and Intelligence Bureau. Most of the vacancies are in the DIG (94) and SP (137) ranks. IPS officers are also appointed to other central government positions, including trade union ministries.
In February, the Home Office changed the IPS tenure policy by removing the mandatory requirement for IPS officers to be appointed to the DIG level. He said “officers with at least 14 years of experience will be eligible for appointment at the DIG level by the Centre.” Officers are assessed for suitability for central deputation by the Central Police Establishment Board (CPEB) headed by the Union Home Secretary. The names of officers up to IG level are then sent to the Cabinet Appointments Committee (ACC) headed by the Prime Minister for approval.
Responding to a question from V. Sivadasan of CPI(M) at the Rajya Sabha on August 4, Personnel Minister Jitendra Singh said there were 14 IAS officers stationed in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Two IAS officers each from Gujarat and Bihar cadres, while one from Uttarakhand, Telangana, Sikkim, Manipur, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and AGMUT.
The Union Government is facing a severe shortage of AIS officers and to overcome the crisis, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued a proposal in December 2021 to delegate the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the IPS and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) officers at the center without necessarily taking the go-ahead from the state government. The DoPT said that despite existing arrangements, states were not sponsoring a sufficient number of officers for central deputation, and the available officers were not sufficient to meet Union requirements. The proposal is still under review.
Before an AIS officer is called to the central deputation, his agreement is required.
The DoPT recently informed Parliament that as of January 1, there were 1,472 vacancies in the IAS and 864 vacancies in the IPS in various states. The total sanctioned strength of IAS and IPS officers is approximately 6,700 and 4,900 respectively. AIS officers are recruited by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on behalf of the Center and their services are then placed under various state executives. The DoPT said it is the responsibility of service members to serve under both the state and the Center.
In the case of IAS officers, the DoPT Settlement Officer invites applications from state governments. Once the nomination is received, their eligibility is reviewed by a panel and then a list of offers is prepared, traditionally done with the state government on board. Ministries and central offices can then choose from the list of proposed agents. Publication of the job listing on the DoPT website was halted by the government in 2018 amid reports that few state government officers were willing to come to the Center.