Srinagar : In a major decision, the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) has, as a one-time relaxation, decided to offer positing in the Union Territory through AGMUT cadre to all IAS officers hailing from J&K, who are posted in different States/UTs of the country.
The move will serve twin purposes.
One, the local IAS officers of Jammu and Kashmir will get posting in the home Union Territory and Second, shortage of the Civil Services officers will be met.
“The offer is voluntarily. Only those IAS officers from Jammu and Kashmir, who want to come to their home Union Territory willingly, will be given posting here.
When approached for comments, Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh, Incharge DoPT said the Central Government is providing all kind of support to Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory for best practices in governance.
Sources said top officers in the DoPT have initiated exercise to identify IAS officers hailing from Jammu and Kashmir and posted in different States/UTs across the country to seek their opinion whether they want to become part of the AGMUT cadre to get posting in their home Union Territory.
“Only after receiving consent from the officers, who want to get posting in Jammu and Kashmir, the DoPT will process their cases for changing their cadre to AGMUT to give them posting in their home Union Territory,” sources said, adding that they expect that number of officers would opt for posting in their home UT.
“We expect IAS officers with lesser service like 10 to 15 years to opt for Jammu and Kashmir. However, the officers, who are in senior rank in their States/UTs, could be hesitant to come unless they are offered significant postings,” sources said.
During past few years, a number of youths had qualified for IAS from Jammu and Kashmir but majority of them couldn’t get home State/UT due to less number of available posts and they were allotted cadre of other States. The freshers, according to sources, will be delighted by the Government decision as they will get a chance to serve in their home UT.
Even in current batch of IAS for which allocation of cadre was recently done by the DoPT, the natives of Jammu and Kashmir have been allotted Telangana, West Bengal, Gujarat cadre etc. Only a female Civil Services qualifier from Ladakh was allotted AGMUT cadre and she might get posting in Jammu and Kashmir. Rest of those allocated AGMUT cadre hailed from different other States and Union Territories.
“The DoPT and Jammu and Kashmir Government move is aimed at overcoming shortage of IAS officers in Jammu and Kashmir which has arisen due to delay in Cadre Revision by the previous Government, a result of which number of IAS posts in the Union Territory couldn’t be increased,” sources said.
Further, the DoPT has changed the ratio of 50:50 for Direct Recruitment and promotees from Jammu and Kashmir to 67:33 i.e. 67 percent for Regular Recruits and 33 for local promotes.
And reasons for very few vacancies of the All India Services in Jammu and Kashmir have been attributed to delay in conducting Cadre Review by the previous Governments especially the PDP-BJP headed by Mehbooba Mufti despite four reminders by Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Dr Jitendra Singh, Incharge DoPT.
Dr Jitendra Singh had asked the previous Government to hold Cadre Review which will increase strength of the officers of All India Services in Jammu and Kashmir leading to posting of local youth who crack UPSC exams in their erstwhile home State. However, the previous Government didn’t conduct Cadre Review.
Jammu and Kashmir has sanctioned strength of 137 IAS officers but against them only 58 are working. Recently, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had abolished Jammu and Kashmir cadre for All India Services including Indian Administrative Services, Indian Police Services and Indian Forest Services and its merger into Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre which now comprised 10 States and Union Territories,
Sources said the Union Territory Government will have to hold Cadre Review to increase sanctioned strength of the All India Services which is fixed for all States and UTs, who are part of AGMUT cadre, unless revised.
It may be mentioned that couple of months back, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had invited requests from the Central Government officers of various services for posting in the Union Territory and Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh which have been facing acute shortage of officers. A number of IAS, IPS, JKAS, JKPS and other officers/officials have been deputed to the Union Territory of Ladakh from Jammu and Kashmir.