Proposed Amendments to change rules for Central Deputation

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    In News

    • The Union government is planning to acquire for itself overriding powers to transfer IAS and IPS officers through Central deputation, doing away with the requirement of taking the approval of the State governments.

    About the current rule on deputation

    • The Department of Personnel & Training: is the cadre controlling authority of IAS officers.
    • Offer list: The Centre asks every year for an “offer list” of officers of the All-India Services (IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service) willing to go on central deputation, from which it selects officers.
    • Central deputation in the Indian Administrative Service is covered under Rule-6 (1) of the IAS (Cadre) Rules-1954, inserted in 1969.
      • It states: “A cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the State Governments concerned and the Central Government, be deputed for service under the Central Government or another State Government or under a company, association or body of individuals.
    • Provided that in case of any disagreement: the matter shall be decided by the Central Government and the State Government or State Governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the Central Government.

    Proposed amendments

    • It proposed to insert an additional condition in Rule 6(1): Provided that each State Government shall make available for deputation to the Central Government, such number of eligible officers of various levels to the extent of the Central Deputation Reserve prescribed under Regulations referred to in Rule 4(1).
    • The actual number of officers to be deputed to the Central Government: shall be decided by the Central Government in consultation with the State Government concerned.
      • According to existing norms, States have to depute the All-India Services (AIS) officers, including the Indian Police Service (IPS) officers, to the Central government offices and at any point it cannot be more than 40% of the total cadre strength.
    • Time clause: To the existing condition in case of any disagreement the State Government or State Governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the Central Government.
      • The proposed amendment adds the words “within a specified time”.
      • The officer shall stand relieved from cadre from the date as may be specified by the Central government.
      • Presently, officers have to get a no-objection clearance from the State government for Central deputation.
    • Public interest: In specific situations where services of cadre officers are required by the Central government in “public interest” the State shall give effect to its decisions within a specified time.

    Issues

    • Various state/joint cadres are not sponsoring adequate numbers of officers: for central deputation, as part of the Central Deputation Reserve.
      • As a result of this, the number of officers available for central deputation is not sufficient to meet the requirement at Centre.
    • It is against the spirit of cooperative federalism: and will affect administration of the state.
    • Administration of States will be affected: By insisting on officers to be made available for deputation through the proposed amendment, not only will the administration of States be affected but also it would become impossible to assess and plan the administration of a State.
    • Escape route: Even the proposed amendment leaves the state with an escape route by stating that the number of officers to be sent on deputation shall be decided by the central government “in consultation with the State Government concerned.
    • Consent of the officer: while the Centre mandates the state governments to provide a list of officers, the officer too must be willing; with Rule 6(2) stating that no cadre officer shall be deputed except with his consent.

    Way Forward

    • In 2020, the DoPT, to ensure that more officers come to the Centre, changed norms and made it mandatory: for IAS officers from the 2007 batch onwards to mandatorily serve for two years in Central deputation within first 16 years of their service if they wanted to be empanelled for a joint secretary rank in the future.

    Source: TH