Minutes of the meeting of MOS (PP) /Secretary, DOP&T with Principal Secretaries of GAD/Personnel Department of States/Cadres held on 27.09.2013 at Civil Service Officers Institute, Vinay Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. List of participants is annexed.
1. At the outset, the Secretary (Personnel) briefly outlined the objectives of the meeting. He stressed on the need for an open, informal, interactive and exhaustive discussion in the meeting inviting free and fair suggestions from the State Governments that would help the DoPT in formulating appropriate policies.
2. MOS in his address underlined the need for a continued dialogue between States and the Centre in every field including issues of governance. He stated that stability of tenure, promotion from SCS to IAS, the pendency of DP & Prosecution sanction case and other such issues have been engaging the attention of DOPT for a long time. All these had been encapsulated in the agenda notes and it would be fruitful to discuss them, set targets and draw a road map for achieving those targets during the meeting. MOS (PP) also mentioned that more and more officers from the State cadre should be encouraged to opt for Central deputation.
3. Thereafter agenda points were discussed one by one.
4. Agenda Point No. 1: Cadre Review
4.1 JS(S&V-II) presented the status of cadre reviews of the IAS in different States. She outlined the importance of the cadre review exercise and pointed out that the cadre review proposals submitted by the states usually are incomplete and without the requisite information. With a view to guide the states help formulate complete and proper proposals, her division had circulated a set of formats in the agenda note. The States were requested to send their proposal strictly in that format. On the issue of need to have intermediary cadre reviews to meet some exigencies, she explained that although the cadre review exercise is undertaken at the interval of 5 years, in the case of emergent requirements it could be undertaken at any time and the State
Governments were advised to forward a proposal in this regard. Secretary (P) impressed upon the need on the part of the State Governments to strictly adhere to the prescribed time schedule for furnishing various quarterly returns on a regular basis given their vital role in the process of effective cadre management.
4.2 Representatives of a few States highlighted the problem of stagnation at apex and suppertime level that warranted undertaking of cadre review exercise immediately.
4.3 On the issue of Central Deputation Reserve (CDR), EO & AS mentioned an increasing tendency amongst officers not to come on central deputation at the level of Deputy Secretary & Director, thus creating a shortage of officers at that level in Centre. This missed opportunity for gaining experience has a huge implication from the career point of view of the officers apart from eroding the image of all India character of the service. The State Governments/officers were urged to mandatorily consider central deputation of officers at some point of time during one’s career. Secretary (P) reiterated that more and more officers from the State cadre must be deputed for Central deputation.
5. Agenda Point No. 2: Stability of Tenure
5.1 MOS (PP) stated that it was the constant endeavor of the government for devising ways and means to provide security to honest officers. Further, he explained that the uniform implementation of tenure policy across all cadres is an effective tool to insulate honest officers from the bane of arbitrary transfer/postings.
5.2 Secretary (P) asked the representatives of the 13 States, for whom notification under the IAS (Cadre) Rules for stability of tenure have been issued, to share their experience in implementation the policy. All the 13 States informed that all transfers/postings earlier than the stipulated period were done by recording reasons for doing so after obtaining approval of an authority- a level above the one who had ordered such transfer. The representatives of the remaining 11 cadres who had yet not given their consent to fixed tenure were then requested to explain the difficulties in doing so and to also expedite the same. State Representatives observed that experience of implementing the policy on ground riddled with some serious legal consequences. The notification being subject to judicial review, pose a problem for effective cadre management. Representative of Bihar expressed misgivings of the
State Government on the point that such notification was likely to pose administrative problem as stipulated tenure in the notification would become open to judicial process. Principal Secretary (Maharashtra) stated that since the State had already enacted a law on the subject, which covers IAS officers as well, there was no need for the notification for the State of Maharashtra. Representatives of Gujarat and West Bengal stated that although tenure notifications had not been issued, the tenure of the officers in their States was stable.
5.3 Secretary (P) requested all the 11 States that were yet to give their consent to the issuance of tenure notification may do so in writing and the 13 States for whom notification under the IAS (Cadre) Rules for stability of tenure have already been issued and are working with some modifications/aberrations here & there, to furnish their views/feedback on the status of implementation.
6. Agenda Point No.3: Unauthorized Absence from Cadres
6.1 JS(S&V-II) drew attention to the 12 cases of unauthorized absence of IAS officers which are awaiting initiation of deemed resignation action as per the provisions of AIS(Leave) Rules, 1955, for want of complete information from the States. AS(S&V) explained the procedure for initiating deemed resignation action and urged the representatives to follow the prescribed procedure (i.e. issue of show-cause notice to the officer, getting response of officer, comments of State Govt. on the response) and send a complete proposal to the DoPT. All the State Governments were requested to expedite the pending deemed resignation cases and to review all such cases of unauthorized absence.
6.2 Similarly, the instances of overstay of All India Service officers on Inter- Cadre Deputation beyond approved period was mentioned to be on the rise. This has been viewed seriously by the ACC, and the ACC has directed DOPT to take disciplinary action against such officers. Recently an OM dated 14th August 2013 has been issued in this regard detailing the guidelines by DOPT for officers on inter-state deputation. It should be brought to the knowledge of the State Governments as well as the officers concerned so as to avoid any overstay by officers in future and consequential adverse action by the Central Government.
7. Agenda Point No. 4: Courtesy to Public Representatives
7.1 Joint Secretary (Establishment) opened the discussion by stating that the Government has time and again brought to the notice of the State Governments the guidelines concerning official dealings between the administration and Members of Parliament and State Legislatures which have been issued by the Department of Personnel & Training. It was informed that the revised comprehensive guidelines have since been issued by the Department vide Office Memorandum dated 01.12.2011, copies of which were endorsed to Chief Secretaries of all the State Governments with a request that the instructions may be circulated to all officials of the State Government for compliance. Successive Secretaries in the Department have also reiterated for compliance with these guidelines in their communications addressed to the State Governments. These instructions essentially related to prompt disposal of references made by Members of Parliament/ Members of Legislative Assemblies, courtesies to be extended, information to be given and invitations, etc.
7.2 Joint Secretary (Establishment) mentioned that it had been brought to the notice of the Department of Personnel & Training, by the Committee of Privileges, Rajya Sabha, that the guidelines are not being followed and the Department is in receipt of a number of complaints from the Hon’ble Members of Parliament to this effect. The matter had also been raised in the meeting of the Committee on Violation of Protocol Norms and Contemptuous Behaviour of the Government Officers with Members of the Lok Sabha, which has been constituted by the Hon’ble Speaker.
7.3 A list of pending Privilege Notices against IAS officers that have been received from the Lok Sabha/ Rajya Sabha Secretariats was circulated to the representatives of the State Governments. A.S. (S&V) mentioned that despite reminders, the factual reports are awaited from the State Governments. Secretary (P) advised that the existing instructions should be brought to the notice of all concerned. He also requested the representatives of the State Governments to expedite the response on these Notices and instruct the officers concerned to promptly reply to the complaints received from the Members of Parliament. He desired that replies of the State Governments may be sent to the Department of Personnel & Training within 3 weeks.
8. Agenda Point No. 5: SCS to IAS- Promotions
8.1 J.S. (S&V-I) gave a brief presentation on the subject and explained that filling up of the posts in IAS through Appointment by Promotion/ Selection is important to achieve the objective of bridging up the shortage of officers in the service. He mentioned that during last one year, this Department made some concerted efforts because of which the gap in the promotion quota came down drastically as on 1.1.2013 in comparison to what was there as on 1.1.2012.
8.2 It was pointed out that during the calendar year of 2013, efforts are to be made for preparation of the Select Lists of 2012 and earlier years for the SCS category and 2013 for non-SCS category. As a first step to that, out of total 29 cadres/segments, this Department has already determined the number of vacancies, unconditionally, for 24 cadres. In respect of the cadres of Meghalaya, Karnataka and Jharkhand, the vacancies have been determined provisionally due to want of some information from the State Government. Further, in respect of the cadre of Bihar and Rajasthan, it was
pointed out that there are legal disputes.
8.3 The representative of Rajasthan stated that the vacancies for the Select List of 2013 (Non-SCS) had so far not been determined. He further raised the issue of filing a writ petition by the Government of India against the order dated 04.04.2013 in O.A. No. 810/2012 and 80/2013 before the Hon’ble CAT, Jaipur Bench. It was briefed to him that the letter determining the number of vacancies for the Select List of 2013 (Non-SCS) has been issued by the Central Government on 19.09.2013. Further, the steps to file an appeal petition are being taken. Responding to the query of the representatives of
Tripura regarding pending appointment of the State Civil Service officers of Tripura to IAS, it was clarified that the approval of JCA in this regard is still awaited. The representative of Andhra Pradesh stated that they had sent a revised proposal for determination of the number of vacancies for the Select List of 2013 (Non-SCS) which is stated to be under consideration. The representative of Bihar raised the issue of pending litigation with regard to determination of the number of vacancies for the State. Secretary (P) observed that it was a ticklish issue and might be addressed separately.
8.4 Secretary (P) also exhorted all the State Governments to take necessary actions to send the requisite proposal/ information to the UPSC/ Central Government so as to enable the concerned to take immediate steps to fill up the prevailing vacancies in the promotion quota of IAS. The Additional Secretary (S&V) requested the representatives of the States of Meghalaya, Karnataka and Jharkhand to send the requisite certificates/ information to the Central Government immediately.
8.5 The representative of Mizoram raised the issue of delay in Appointment by Promotion of State Police Service officers to Indian Police Service. Director (Services), Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard informed that the MHA had sent the requisite papers to the UPSC and the issue should be resolved shortly.
8.6 Joint Secretary (S&V-I) informed the participants that it has been experienced over the years that State Governments send proposals for fixation of seniority/year of allotment of promotee IAS Officers very late. This result in delay in fixation of seniority/year of allotment of promotee IAS Officers and such officers raise this issue at various forums. He also mentioned that in order to overcome this problem DOPT vide DO letter No. 14014/4/2011-AIS-I dated 25.4.2013, has requested State Govts. to send the information regarding date of continuous appointment of the officers in the post of Deputy Collector in a prescribed format at the time of sending on the minutes of the UPSC Selection meeting with the observations to UPSC under IAS(Appointment by Promotion) Regulations, 1955/ IAS(Appointment by Selection) Regulations, 1997. He emphasized that the stipulations of the said letter should be scrupulously followed. He also requested representatives of the State Government of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura and Jammu & Kashmir to expedite the proposal for fixation of seniority of seniority/Year of allotment. Induction training of SCS Officers promoted to IAS
8.7 JS(S&V-I) informed that, as rule envisaged earlier, all SCS officers appointed to IAS by promotion/selection shall have to undergo induction training provided they have not attained the age of 52 years on appointment to the Service. The upper age limit of 52 years prescribed in the Probation Rules for exempting eligible officers from undergoing induction training was removed by IAS Probation Amendment Rules, 2011 dated 10.5.2011, making it compulsory for all such officers to undergo the induction training. Stressing on the significance of induction training of SCS Officers promoted to IAS as part of requirements under rule, Secretary (P) desired that the State Governments may undertake an assessment of backlog training requirement year-wise of these officers by ascertaining the no. of officers to be given training and report back to DOP&T for making slots available for them. Further, he also informed that more training institutes, like IIPA etc. are being tied up for imparting induction training to such officers due to . Principal Secretary (GAD), Govt. of Bihar, suggested keeping an age bar for imparting this training.
Vacancy Reporting for RR to UPSC
8.8 JS(S&V-I) invited attention of all State Government officials to the provisions of Cadre Allocation Policy, 2008 which provides that the State Governments are required to indicate the total number of vacancies to be filled through a particular Civil Services Examination (CSE) by 31st December of the year prior the year of the Examination. The States are also supposed to indicate the number of the districts of that State simultaneously. Secretary (P) in this regard explained that for the purpose of distribution of the total number of vacancies to be filled up in the DR quota of IAS from a particular Civil Services Examination among various cadres, there is a prescribed formula which gives 50% weightage to the number of districts available in a state as on the 1st January of the year of the examination and 50% weightage to cadre deficit. He pointed out that for this reason, it is a must that the information regarding the number of districts should reach to the Central Government by the prescribed date. Secretary (P) also suggested that a model calculation distributing the number of vacancies among various cadres on the above lines may be put on the website of this Department so that the State Governments could understand the rationale behind a particular number of officers being allocated to them from a particular Civil Service Examination. Further, A.S. (S&V) urged the states to send their requisition for DR quota of IAS from CSE-2014 and to intimate the number of districts as on 1.1.2014 by 31.12.2013.
9. Agenda Point No. 6: Inter Cadre Deputations and Cadre Change
9.1 JS (S&V) informed the participants that IAS officers are permitted to go on Inter Cadre Deputation. Change of cadre of IAS officers is also permitted on the ground of marriage to officer of All India service officer and on the ground of “extreme hardship” attributable to health or threat perception to the officer or his immediate. At times, officers directly write to DOPT for such permission. It has been decided that the application directly received from the officer will not be entertained in DOPT. This may be brought to the notice of IAS officers borne on respective State Government for compliance. In future only those applications will be entertained which are receivedthrough parent cadre along with their concurrence.
10. Agenda Point No.7: Vigilance Issues
10.1 Secretary (P) stressed upon the need for furnishing of Quarterly Reports (QR) on Vigilance Matters/Disciplinary Cases in the prescribed format by the State Governments in respect of their officers to the DOP&T. Further, he informed that officers would be denied vigilance clearance and will not be considered for promotion, empanelment, posting etc. if States fail to submit Quarterly Reports (QRs) in time. There are 15 States from which quarterly report of disciplinary cases/vigilance matters in respect of IAS officers is pending. The State Governments are required to expedite furnishing QRs regularly in the prescribed format.
10.2 It was noted with concern that a large number of disciplinary and prosecution cases against IAS officers are pending for very long time at various stages for want of requisite information from State Governments. Again a large number of complaints against IAS offices sent to State Governments for their report are also pending for very long time for want of appropriate response from them. This leads to a situation where an officer suffers in the intervening period in many ways. All State Governments were requested to try and send their response quickly in all pending cases so that a decision
can be taken quickly.
10.3 AS(S&V) requested the State Governments to intimate the Centre about starting of disciplinary proceedings (DP) against an IAS officer and also to create and maintain a database of such cases by taking help of Information Technology. It was brought to the notice of all concerned that an updated manual/handbook on disciplinary proceedings is available on the web site of DoPT. The Inquiring officer (IO)s & Prosecution Officer (PO) may get themselves familiarize with the provisions of this manual.
11. Agenda Point No.8: CBI Related Issues
11.1 Initiating discussion on Special Court, Joint Secretary(S&V-I) mentioned that out of the proposed 71 Special Courts, orders have already been issued for setting up of 70 Special Courts of these 68 CBI Courts have become functional. JS(S&V) brought to the notice of all concerned that Government of Odisha is yet to make remaining one court functional at Bhubaneswar and in respect of Goa (Mumbai-I Zone) the single additional court is yet to start functioning, despite the location at Mapusa Goa being identified. He made a request to the State Govt. of Odissa, Goa to send update on the status of operationalization of these Courts. Representatives of Government of Punjab informed that the court at Patiala has been sanctioned by the Governor and will be made operational shortly. Representatives of Government of Andhra Pradesh informed that the Special Court at Visakhapatnam is going to be operational in a week’s time.
12. Agenda Point No.9: E-filing of Performance Appraisal Report
12.1 A presentation on e-filing of PAR by IAS officers was made on 27.09.2013 with an objective to familiarize the Principal Secretaries of General Administration Department of State Governments/UTs with the software and issues related to it. At the outset, E.O. & A.S. gave an overview of the proposal and also explained the need for such a software, the role of the State Governments, pre-requisites viz., Digital Signature Certificate, etc. E.O. stated that it had been noticed that the PARs received from the State Governments were either undated or antedated. Similarly, there were instances of over-writing of dates, certain important columns being left blank. In order to curb such unsavory practices, E.O. informed the Principal Secretaries that DOPT proposes to introduce online filing of PAR by IAS officers from the year 2013-14 for which a prototype of the software developed by NIC would be demonstrated. He stated that since more than 80% of the IAS officers were posted in States, their proactive participation was essential for successful implementation of the programme.
12.2 E.O. further informed that for e-filing of PAR, each officer/authority involved in the work flow would have to be issued a Digital Signature Certificate (DSC). The request form along with the passport size photograph duly signed by the applicant would have to be verified by the GAD Department of the respective State Government. For issue of DSC, there is a fee of Rs. 555. He further stated that the issue relating to waiving off the fee would be taken up separately and if it was not agreed to, the funds would be provided by the Centre. Therefore, the States need not bother about the payment of fee for issue of DSC. He also mentioned that in case any one of the reporting authorities is non-IAS, it would be optional for the State Government to issue DSC to such authority or accept the physical copy of the PAR from him. However, for the time being, the political executives would continue to record their remarks/gradings manually.
12.3 Thereafter, Ms. Suchitra Pyarelal, Sr. Technical Director, NIC, D/o Electronics & IT demonstrated the prototype of the proposed software. The main highlights of the presentation were as follows:
The above software would be linked to the Executive Records available on DoPT’s website indicating the name of the officer, the State where attached,
present posting, etc.
Thus, the form would be pre-populated with existing information already available in the ER Sheet and only details like reporting, reviewing and accepting authorities, based on the work flow for each officer would have to be filled up by GAD Department in the State before sending it to each officer
After receipt of the PAR form, the officer reported upon would fill up the self appraisal and other columns and send it online to reporting authority after digital signature.
The software would also have an in-built system of generating auto-alerts which would go to the concerned officer with whom the PARs would be pending for more than twenty days or so.
Each officer would have to digitally sign the report before forwarding it to appropriate authority.
The system would have the facility of uploading summary of medical report, certificates of training, academic courses, appreciation letters, etc.
12.4 The representative from State Government of Punjab informed that they have already introduced e-filing of PARs for PCS officers from the year 2012-13. The online system initially had some teething problems but eventually all officers submitted their PARs online.
12.5 The States welcomed the initiative and assured to extend their cooperation to make it successful. Secretary (P) advised the States to identify suitable officers, dealing with PARs of IAS officers, who would need to be imparted hands-on training for implementing it in their respective States.
13. Agenda Point No.10: D/o AR&PG matters
13.1 Joint Secretary (ARC) made a presentation on the various steps taken by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) for effective implementation of the accepted recommendations of 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission. He informed that the CoS under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary in its meeting held on 06.11.2012 approved the following institutional mechanism:-
a) Secretaries of the Ministries / Departments concerned to review and monitor the progress on implementation of the recommendations on a monthly / bi-monthly basis
b) State Governments to constitute a Committee under the chair of the Chief Secretary for expediting the pace of implementation of the ARC recommendations
c) The independent third party assessment on implementation of the accepted ARC recommendations
d) Sensitization of officers at various levels of All India Services / Central Services and State Services on reforms at the training academies / institutes.
13.2 He further stated that the DARPG in pursuance of the above decision has taken necessary action for implementing the same like setting up of the institutional mechanism by Central Govt. Departments and State Governments, developing training modules for Training of Trainers, providing financial assistance to all the Central and State level training institutes for developing training modules, conducting workshops with CTIs and State ATIs held for facilitating development of modules, training of Trainers held / to be held with CTIs etc. He urged the State Governments to take necessary action expeditiously to constitute the Committees, if not already done, share the detailed plan of action for training and to send proposal for 3rd party evaluation or development of case studies to DARPG.
14. Agenda Point No.11: Training related issues
14.1 A brief presentation was made by Director (Training), DoP&T, giving an overview of the training related issu es. The matter pertaining to shortage of practitioner faculty in LBSNAA was raised. The State Governments were urged to offer suitable IAS officers for consideration for appointment as faculty to LBSNAA. The Training Division raised the issue of inadequate nominations by the State Governments/UTs for the mid-career interaction between the Armed Forces and Civil Service officers which has led to cancellation of two such programmes. The State Governments/UTs were requested to ensure adequate and timely nominations for this programme. The need for a nodal officer in State Governments/UTs for training programme was emphasized in order to have a better coordination.
14.2 In the matter of organizing State Category Training Programmes/Trainer Development Programmes/Intensive Training Programmes with the fee/grant released through State ATIs, the need for timely submission of utilization certificate was emphasized to State Governments/UTs. They were lso requested to ensure timely refund of fee in the event of having not been able to organize the programmes. In so far as foreign training of SCS officers under the Domestic Funding of Foreign Training (DFFT) Scheme is concerned, the representative of Training Division informed that the training circular inviting applications for long/short-term training programmes abroad to be organized in 2014-15 under this scheme was already issued and requested that the same may be given wide publicity so that more number of SCS officers could apply for foreign training programmes.
14.3 Another issue concerning the Training Division was non-receipt of comments of SKIPA, Ranchi on the draft Model State Training Policy formulated by the Division. It was requested to get the same expedited.
15. Suggestions from States
15.1 Tripura- Representatives of Tripura Government highlighted the need for extending incentives like Income Tax exemption, housing facilities, reservation of seats for wards in educational institutions, post-retirement assignments for retired officers etc. in r/o the officers of NE cadres. The State Govt. was requested to forward a detailed proposal on these issues so that concerned Departments can be sensitized. Secretary (P) also suggested that the State Government should upload the contact details, i.e. telephone no., address etc. of the retired officers in public domain.
15.2 Bihar- Principal Secretary (GAD), Govt. of Bihar, suggested keeping an age bar at 52 years for imparting training to officers of SCS promoted to IAS. Secretary (P) assured that the suggestion would be looked into by DOP&T.
15.3 Tamil Nadu- With cadre change, AIS does not look like all India cadre.
Secretary (P) agreed that there has been tendency towards bunching up but review of policy could be taken up after a few years after seeing the impact.
15.4 Almost all the State Government Representatives mentioned that other AIS officers are getting 75500-80,000/- scale but since IAS does not have this scale, IAS officers are stuck in 67000-79000 scale. Even though the rules provide for apex scale after 30 years and HAG after 25 years, this has become now impossible. Positions like Home Secretary (HS) and Forest Secretary (FS) is becoming more and more untenable and ineffective because the field officer (DGP & PCCF) is in higher pay scale then the HS & FS. Therefore, cadre structure needs to be reviewed urgently and provision for more apex level posts and HAG Posts needs to be allowed. A suggestion was made to consider 5% of the SDP at apex level and 14-15% at HAG scale.
15.5 It was requested by State Representatives that there should be regular interaction either quarterly or twice in a year to ensure constant follow up and make the exchange meaningful.
16 Meeting ended with thanks to and from the chair.