A woman poses with a cut-out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as if receiving her appointment letter from him, during the launch of the Rozgar Mela, in Hyderabad. (S. Surender Reddy/DC)
A persistent gripe of the Modi Sarkar is that the current shortage of IPS officers at the Centre is due to the states not sending enough officers on Central deputation. Apparently, even BJP-ruled states have failed to meet the central deputation quota.
While many states are becoming top-heavy, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of additional director-general (ADG) and director-general (DG) rank officers than others. At present, the Yogi Adityanath government has a staggering 78 DGs and ADGs against a sanctioned strength of 28! No surprise, therefore, to find many top-ranked police officers are holding posts that have very little to do with policing — such as DG (special inquiry), DG (power), ADG (telecom), etc.
Official data shows that UP has seven sanctioned posts for DGs but is actually functioning with 15 DGs. Likewise, it has a sanctioned strength of 21 ADGs but actually has 63 ADGs serving in the state. On the other hand, it does not have enough officers in IG and DIG ranks. Against 51 sanctioned posts of IG, the state has only 31 officers, and against 50 DIG positions, it is making do with a mere 39 officers.
Sources in the ministry of home affairs (MHA), which is the cadre controlling authority of IPS officers, said the Centre has only two vacancies each for DG and ADG-rank officers across Central police organisations, agencies and forces. But it has 90 and 30 open posts for DIG and IG positions, according to the latest data.
Poor cadre management seems to be the obvious culprit. Clearly, there is an urgent need to restructure the cadres and rename some positions. Else, the curious situation of top-heavy police administration in the states even as the Centre is unable to fill mid-level vacancies will continue. Mandatory central deputation for SP and DIG-rank officers is being suggested by some babus, but it may not fly well with some states, especially those run by non-BJP parties.
A quiet exit from PMO
The premature repatriation of P. Amudha from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to her parent Tamil Nadu cadre last month went relatively unnoticed despite her high profile as the additional secretary. What’s intriguing about the episode is that Ms Amudha, considered one of the brightest IAS officers from the South, was selected for a promising position in the PMO in July 2020 and seemed poised to become a high-flier. However, barely 14 months later she seems to be out of favour.
Sources have informed DKB that a few months after her repatriation, talk began circulating that her husband, 1991-batch IAS officer Shambhu Kallolikar, was seeking to quit the civil service and join a political party. That has now been confirmed, with Mr Kallolikar reportedly applying for voluntary retirement from service. The buzz is that Mr Kallolikar is likely to join the Congress Party and contest the state Assembly elections in Karnataka, his home state.
Clearly, the buzz has been around for a long time and a section of babus felt that Kallolikar’s political aspirations of joining "the enemy" or another non-BJP party while his wife was serving in the PMO would be awkward and embarrassing for the government.
So, is the wife paying for her husband’s political ambitions? For a bright and upright officer who served two chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and was poised for higher things in Delhi, hopefully, the sacrifice will be worth it.
Wait over, Prasar Bharati gets new CEO
Ending a long period of uncertainty, the government has finally named 1995-batch IAS officer Gaurav Dwivedi as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of state-owned public broadcaster Prasar Bharati. The post had been vacant since June after the end of Shashi Shekhar Vempati’s tenure, and Mayank Kumar Agarwal was holding additional charge of CEO.
Mr Dwivedi, who is from the Chhattisgarh cadre, will reportedly hold the CEO post on a lien basis, instead of resigning from the IAS. His appointment for a term of five years finally quells rumours about Mr Vempati’s successor or whether the Centre will name Mr Agrawal as the full-time CEO. Apparently, five names were in consideration for the post by the selection committee.
Usually, the Centre keeps its cards close and, sources say, that it had come close to announcing a name earlier but then withheld its decision based on a complaint filed by a senior babu against the government’s preferred choice. The babu was immediately taken off the list and also removed from an important assignment.
Mr Dwivedi, it is assumed, has a clean slate. He is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Administration and has been a faculty member at the IAS Training Academy in Mussoorie.