Fixed tenure to IAS: UP, Gujarat, Meghalaya & Punjab refuse to accept DoPT proposal--ET Ist November 2013
NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Punjab have refused to adopt fixed tenures for civil servants despite the central government urging them to do so since 2007, a position that could put them at odds with the Supreme Court's latest order mandating minimum terms for bureaucrats.
A senior official in the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) told ET that the three states and Meghalaya reiterated their position for not adopting the fixed tenure rule for IAS officers at the last meeting on the issue with principal secretaries of all states on September 27. Ten other major states, notably Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, were non-committal.
"Bihar had stated that it requires information about the policy of the central government relating to the tenure of officers and about their fixed minimum tenure. A reply in this regard was furnished in May 2012, but the consent of the state Government of Bihar is still awaited," says a DoPT document prepared ahead of that meeting. UP, Bihar and Punjab are also infamous for arbitrary transfers of bureaucrats and many IAS officers from these major cadres have complained to DoPT about frequent and random transfers.
The Supreme Court order on Thursday said 13 states had agreed with the DoPT proposal to give two-year fixed tenure for officers, while some states did not agree. The DoPT says while four states have refused to adopt the tenure policy, 10 remain non-committal. "The 10 states have been requested to give their consent for making provisions for providing minimum tenure in their states. In this regard, letters have also been issued in January 2012 requesting the concerned states to give their consent for providing two years minimum tenure to all the cadre posts of IAS (except the post of chief secretary)," a senior DoPT official said.
The DoPT says states such as Haryana and Karnataka, which have adopted the fixed tenure policy of the DoPT, are not offering more than an average of 13 months fixed tenure to IAS officers.
"The stability of the All India service Officers has been a subject of concern for a long time now. Frequent and arbitrary transfers of officers before completing a reasonable tenure on any post have always been considered as a major reason for the declining standards of administration. A fixed and stable tenure would lead to improvement in service quality, condition and standards of administration," the DoPT has said in a letter to state chief secretaries on September 11.