Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu has made a strong pitch for separate IAS, IPS and IFS cadres for better development of the state. It’s not just the CM, but apparently, the state BJP too favours separate cadres for bureaucrats in the state. Compounded by the fact that many IAS officers are reluctant to serve in the Northeast, the chief minister’s concern about the quality of administration requires attention.
Mr Khandu’s main gripe is that officials sent from Delhi to serve in Arunachal Pradesh come for a short duration. By the time they come to grips with the system, they are transferred, causing a drain of knowledge and slowing down the working of the state administration. A separate state civil service cadre, they believe, at the top, would create a sense of ownership and responsibility and make the administration more responsive to the needs of the state.
It’s not clear whether the Centre will be receptive to the chief minister’s demand. Yet, in the recent months, there have been attempts by the government to liberalise service rules to make the Northeast more attractive to UT cadre officials who get posted to Arunachal Pradesh and other Northeastern states.
Weeding out the corrupt
In June and then in August, the Modi sarkar compulsorily retired 64 tax officials, including commissioner-rank officials, on various charges, including corruption. But the Centre’s drive against corruption in babudom is not limited to tax officials, as reported in this column earlier. The government is believed to be examining and reviewing the annual confidential reports of all employees, particularly those facing criminal or corruption charges.
Sources say that the Centre has directed all cadre-controlling authorities to establish a procedure to identify such officials and compulsorily retire them. The states too have been asked to prepare lists of officials facing serious charges. Similarly, the ministry of personnel, which controls the IAS cadre, is believed to be preparing a list of “tainted” babus for their removal from service, in a phased manner. The central investigative agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) are reportedly identifying corrupt officials for action against them.
The Centre’s determined war against corruption has sent jitters down the babu corridors but will win kudos from the public if the deadwood is indeed weeded out of the system....