The KAS became a reality due to the firm stand taken by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan right from the beginning for improving the efficiency of administrative machinery.
Thiruvananthapuram: Cabinet on Tuesday approved special rules of Kerala Administrative Service (KAS) paving the way for a new state administrative cadre from January 1, 2018. The KAS became a reality due to the firm stand taken by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan right from the beginning for improving the efficiency of administrative machinery and to inject fresh blood and talent into the administration. The chief minister put his foot down in spite of a prolonged agitation by Congress-led Staff Associations and apprehensions raised by Left led staff unions. Most states have Class-I State Civil Services who are later promoted into IAS.
Though State Administrative Reforms Commissions had successively recommended the formation of a broad based inter-disciplinary multi-departmental KAS and even the previous governments had from time to time tried to push it, the strong pressure from the powerful staff unions had prevented it for the last five decades. The KAS is expected to bring in the much needed professionally trained middle management service. Many brilliant young people who used to go to banking and other sectors, will now have an opportunity to enter the second gazetted level of state administration. There was pressure on the government to bring out the special order at least by December. Since the age of government staff in the state is calculated from January 1, a delay in issuing the order could have marred the chances of in-service candidates. The staff organisations which supported KAS had also demanded that the special order and subsequent notification should be issued by December.
An official release here said the special rules were finalised after incorporating the suggestions of various staff organisations. KAS is aimed at providing an opportunity to efficient and committed officials to reach higher echelons of administrative machinery. Ten percent each of second gazetted posts in 29 departments and common category posts will be set apart for KAS posting. The recruitment will be through three streams - i) direct recruitment from graduates, maximum age limit 32 years, exemption in age limit for backward classes and SC/ST, educational qualification degree from a recognised university ii) direct recruitment from permanent staff in government departments who do not fall in the category of first gazetted posts or above and should have completed two years in service, qualification is degree, maximum age limit 40 years iii) posting by transfer from 29 government departments and equivalent common category posts, maximum age limit 50 years, graduation.
Kerala Public Service Commission had earlier recommended the government to consider the reservation for differently abled and make provision for transgender quota in KAS. The Commission had approved the special draft rules submitted by the state government. It suggested the government to consider three per cent reservation for the differently abled. Similarly, the government should also consider the transgender demand for quota in line with its transgender policy.
The PSC recommended special language test in Malayalam for the successful candidates who have not studied Malayalam till Matriculation. The candidates will have to qualify the test before the declaration of their probation. KAS will have OMR, descriptive exam followed by an interview. It will be along the lines of the IAS preliminary, main and interview. As per draft special rules (Rule 15-A) four tests have been recommended for candidates who get selected for assessing their aptitude in the criminal judiciary, revenue, accountancy and office procedures.
The candidates should have obtained bachelor degree including professional courses from any university established by the Kerala government, central government or those recognised by the UGC or the central or state governments.
The special draft rules were given final approval at the PSC board meeting and sent to the government along with the recommendations. It is for the government to accept or reject the recommendations.
Pro CPM staff union welcomes decision on KAS
Pro CPM Kerala Secretariat Employees Association general secretary M S Bijukuttan welcomed the LDF Government decision on Kerala Administrative Service and the intention to improve administrative efficiency. However, he said there were still certain apprehensions and lack of clarity on issues like promotion posts of secretariat staff. Moreover, the huge financial commitment involved in creating high posts under KAS was also a cause of concern. He said the LDF had promised to set up KAS and the government has fulfilled its promise. Bijukuttan hoped that the government will remove apprehensions in Secretariat staff about the new cadre in the due course.