IAS officers association is lobbying to get better scales in 7th Pay Commission

Associations of IAS officers have held several formal and informal meetings to weigh options before them to thwart any attempt to whittle away at the advantages they now enjoy over others by virtue of securing top grades in the civil services exam.

Officers associations of Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IA&AS) and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) have made detailed presentations to the Pay Commission about their grievances and suggestions for the future.

Though made separately, the associations’ presentations unanimously voiced their demand for ensuring pay parity with IAS officers and a share in Joint Secretary-level posts at the Centre.

The Indian Revenue Service officials demanded that top level posts be increased to accommodate them on par with IAS officers. Asserting that they were involved in the important task of collecting revenue for the government, the IRS officers association said the superiority of IAS and Indian Foreign Services (IFS) officers should go as they did not face any hardships.

about delay in empanelment of officers of their services as Joint Secretaries at the centre vis-a-vis IAS officers. For example, they said, while a 1997 batch IAS officer is empanelled as Joint Secretary, for empanelment of an IPS officer he has to be of the 1993 batch, 1994 batch for IA&AS and 1989 for IFoS.

These organisations deprecated IAS officers deciding the fate of other All India Services and Allied servicesofficers.

The IRS officers also demanded positions ranging from Superintendents of Police to Joint Directors in the CBI for its officers, claiming they were equipped to deal with economic crimes.

IA&AS memorandum also sought equality in rules governing central deputation and allowances.

In its representation, the IPS Officers Association deplored that its demand for pay parity with IAS and IFS has been ignored by successive Pay Commissions.

There are hardly any joint secretary or secretary level officers in the bureaucracy from IPS. The memorandumalso said that out of 111 posts of Central Vigilance Officers, only 21 were occupied by IPS officers.

It also spoke about the duty of a police officer which went beyond his ordinary scheduled work hours. “A police officer is subject to restrictions on his private life, one of which is the obligation to obey an order to return to duty,” it said.

The duty hours spanned more than 16 hours a day and, therefore, there was a need to introduce an ‘Overtime Allowance’ for police personnel.

Officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), the top rung of the country’s bureaucracy, are up in arms against  the Seventh Pay Commission now, after the rumour that it could bring about parity between them and other civil servants who are lower down in the civil service hierarchy.

Associations of IAS officers have held several formal and informal meetings to weigh options before them to thwart any attempt to whittle away at the advantages they now enjoy over others by virtue of securing top grades in the civil services exam.

Nearly 200 young IAS officers have so far submitted their representations to Cabinet secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha, the country’s top bureaucrat, and to the central IAS officers’ association, airing serious concerns over the reported move by the pay panel towards salary parity and doing away with the IAS edge in what is known as empanelment. “I was astonished to see media reports on the proposals towards parity between the services, which is nothing but an attempt to equate the gold medalist with last-benchers. Such proposals not only go against the principles of competition but also penalise top performers in the name of parity,” said 1993 batch IAS officer on condition of anonymity .

Top-ranked students in the civil services exam are assigned the IAS and Indian Foreign Service, followed by other branches such as the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the Indian Revenue Service (IRS). Empanelment refers to the selection of officer to a post which has the rank of joint secretary in the central government. The next step could be a petition by the Central Indian Civil and Administrative Association, the lobby group of IAS officers, to the cabinet secretary, who is also an IAS offcers, to the cabinet secretary, who is also an IAS officer.

Sanjay Bhoosreddy, the honorary secretary for the association, told ET that over 100 IAS officers have expressed anguish with his grouping so far about the reported recommendations of the pay panel which is due to submit its report by the end of this year. “The key concerns of the junior IAS officers pertain to emoluments and losing edge in empanelment,” he said. For years, officers from branches such as the IPS and IRS have complained that they do not make it to the rank of joint secretary in the same numbers that IAS officers do, and that their salaries are lower than those of IAS officers despite working on equally complex assignments. There are some 4,800 IAS officers across India. TS Krishnamurthy , an IRS officer who went on to become the Central Election Commissioner, argued that handing non-IAS officers a permanent handicap is not such a good idea.Instead, after some length of time, all those in the All-India Services should be treated equally . “I had a disadvantage; every time I had a handicap of two years and I feel no reason why there should be differentiation after 18 or 20 years,” he said.

N Jaya Prakash Narayan, a bureaucratturned-politician and founder of Lok Satta Party , said the need of the hour is far-reaching reform instead of cosmetic changes in the Indian administrative services. “The government should seriously look at making bureaucracy an instrument for change through specialisation, competition, incentive to perform and autonomy ,” he said.

“While we are recruiting some of the best people through a rigorous competitive examination, there is a widespread perception that the country is not getting best out of them over a period of time irrespective of which service they belong to.”

Source: The Economic Times