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Saturday, 31 October 2020

Haryana Officers’ transfer stirs hornet’s nest

Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 30

The ambiguity around cadre posts among Principal Secretaries in Haryana has led to an IAS versus other services contest. It is unlikely to go beyond simmering discontent, with IAS officers maintaining that there is little they can do if Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar decides to post officers from the other two all-India services to posts they claim to be theirs.


  • Haryana seems to be following the trend initiated by Narendra Modi government, which advertised more than a dozen posts two years back and made appointments under the policy of lateral entry for professionals at the joint secretary level
  • In Himachal Pradesh, IPS officer Sanjay Kundu was inducted into the Chief Minister's Office in the present government headed by Jai Ram Thakur, after which he was made Personal Secretary to Chief Minister and later DGP of the state

Sources said the authorised IAS cadre strength in the Haryana cadre was 205, including 13 Financial Commissioners or Principal Secretaries. The sources said IAS officers had been "selectively reading the rule book" and deliberately indulging in "casteism" along service lines.

"There are 13 senior duty posts of Principal Secretary. Haryana has 13 Additional Chief Secretaries and 15 Principal Secretaries posted as administrative secretaries, much in excess of the permissible number. Additional officers are deemed as temporary additions, called ex-cadre posts. There is no clear mention of departments at the level of Principal Secretary," said a senior functionary.

"Using this to their advantage, IAS officers start crying foul each time an officer from other services is posted at the level of Principal Secretary. Let them specify the departments to be included in cadre posts and the government will easily leave those. This ambiguity seems deliberate to keep others from being posted against these positions," explained the functionary.

Another officer maintained that as per rules, there were 112 senior duty posts (cadre posts) of the IAS, in addition to central deputation reserve of 44 and state deputation reserve of 28. According to cadre rules, the number of ex-cadre posts could not exceed state deputation reserve, he pointed out. At present, IAS officers were on 115 ex-cadre posts, more than four times the permissible limit, he added.

A senior IAS officer said the government was well within its right to post officers from other services to boards and corporations since these were non-cadre posts. "This cannot be allowed at the level of Principal Secretary endlessly since these are cadre posts. If the government does not find anybody suitable in the cadre, it has to mention this and seek approval of the Centre for posting any officer from another service beyond three months. The USPC is authorised to approve such posting for six months or more," the officer explained.

"The civil services board is binding since directions for such a board have come from a Supreme Court order. The Chief Minister has to act on its recommendations, but everything is being given a go-by," the officer stated. If the state government decided not to seek approval, there was little that could be done since the IAS officers' association chose to keep mum, the officer added.

from The Tribune

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