Last month, this column reported that the withdrawal of multiple incentives and allowances given to IAS and IPS officers posted in the Northeast region of India had left these babus resentful. Since then, the Centre has promised to review its order and there are signs of minor tweaks, but the officers are reportedly still unhappy.
The Centre has decided to withdraw the benefits of retention of government accommodation at the last station of posting for Group A officers, including All India Service (AIS) officers. No fresh retention will be granted to these officers in the NE states, including Sikkim. However, the government has allowed such retention to officers serving in Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep. Apparently, sources say, this new policy is merely a trigger for other long-pending grievances of babus serving in the northeast states. The resentment clearly reached a point where it had to spill out.
Besides residential accommodation, the babus are upset with the Centre for discontinuing the additional monetary allowance introduced in 2009 for AIS officers comprising the IAS, IPS and IFoS of the Assam-Meghalaya joint cadre, Sikkim, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur cadres. Also, the incentive of reimbursement of payable income tax to tribal AIS officers of the northeast cadres while on central deputation has been withdrawn. So, despite the Centre showing signs of reviewing its decision, the babus remain unhappy, terming the DoPT order as "insensitive" and "abrupt". Time for negotiations, perhaps.
EC orders Gujarat IPS transfers
With the Gujarat Assembly elections announced for next month, the Election Commission has ordered the Bhupendrabhai Patel government to transfer six police officers, five of whom are serving in Ahmedabad. The officers to be transferred are Mukesh Patel, SP, Ahmedabad City (Zone-4), Bhakti Thakar DCP Traffic (Admin), Ashwin Chauhan, additional CP (traffic), Dr Harshad Patel, DCP (Control Room), and Premvir Singh, additional CP (Crime Branch).
Curiously, in the transfer of Ashwin Chauhan, the state home department has reportedly made a mistake. He was earlier serving as DIG, Western Railway, in CID Crime at Police Bhavan Gandhinagar. His government had transferred him as additional CP (traffic) of Ahmedabad city on Diwali day. But since he served as DCP traffic in Ahmedabad in the last Assembly election, he cannot be kept on the post of SEIM in this election, so he will be transferred again.
Earlier, the Gujarat government had ordered the transfer of 12 IPS officers in the state, barely hours before the announcement of Assembly elections and imposition of the code of conduct.
Babu churn continues in J&K
Administration in the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh has been in ferment after the J&K cadre was abolished and the two UTs were made part of the AGMUT cadre.
While last month, an IAS officer proceeded on Central deputation to the prestigious economic affairs department, sources have informed DKB that another senior IAS officer of the J&K cadre in the rank of principal secretary is also preparing to leave for Delhi on deputation. Apparently, all formalities have been completed and the officer is awaiting the final nod from the department of personnel and training (DoPT). Another IAS officer too has applied for Central deputation.
Both UTs are short of IAS and IPS officers due to various reasons but this has been gradually overcome by posting AGMUT cadre and other IAS and IPS officers. The home ministry has been posting several AGMUT cadre IAS, IPS and other All India Services officers in the two union territories. Besides, some officers from the Centre and other states have also been posted in the two Union territories on inter-cadre deputation.
In recent months, several AGMUT cadre officers have been deputed to J&K and Ladakh. Further, the officers of Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Services (JKAS) and Jammu and Kashmir Police Services (JKPS) have also been posted on deputation to the Union Territory of Ladakh given the shortage of officers there.
However, we are assured that the home ministry and DoPT hold regular reviews of the babu situation in J&K and steps are being taken to ensure a sufficient number of babus in J&K are in place. The DoPT had earlier allocated 65 senior duty posts of AGMUT to Jammu and Kashmir in Indian Administrative Services, 70 in Indian Police Services and 58 in Indian Forest Services.