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Move to get state officers for IAS

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The government has proposed special examinations to induct young officers recruited through the State Civil Services into the elite Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

Faced with a shortfall of at least 560 IAS officers across India, a proposal for the UPSC to hold “limited” competitive examinations to allow young officers serving in the states to join the IAS is under active consideration of the Prime Minister’s Office.

A similar move to make up the acute shortfall of IPS officers through a “limited competitive examination” for young officers in Central Police Organisations (CPOs), Central Paramilitary Forces (CPFs) and state police forces had been firmed up by the Union ministry for home affairs (MHA) in March this year. The proposal had been struck down by the UPSC, prompting the home ministry to approach the PMO to overrule the UPSC’s decision.

The Union home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, will be meeting the law minister, Mr Veerappa Moily, and the minister of state in the ministry of personnel, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, on Friday to elicit their views. The Union home minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, will be meeting the law minister, Mr Veerappa Moily, and the minister of state in the ministry of personnel, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, on Friday to settle contentious issues like age criteria, and other modalities involved in holding such exams.

“We will be taking the views of the stakeholders to resolve any complications in view of the concerns expressed by the UPSC. A final view will be taken after we study their suggestions,” an MHA official said.

Currently, entry into the State Civil Services is through a competitive examination conducted by every state public service commission. However, state civil service officers can be promoted to the IAS on the basis of their track records. Government sources said that keeping in view the shortfall of IAS officers, the fresh proposal would allow young officers to sit for the proposed special examination for induction into the IAS.

“The move may lead to discontent among state civil service officers who have served 20 years or more who will not be eligible to sit for the proposed examination,” a government official said.

The proposal for the IAS is similar to the proposal to make up the IPS shortfall where the eligibility criteria for the proposed exam for deputy superintendents of police in the states and assistant commandants in CPOs and CPFs has tentatively been set at 35 years of age. Such examinations are proposed to be held once a year for at least seven years with the aim of getting nearly 70 IPS officers each year.
According to the MHA proposal, officers who clear the examination would be kept on probation for one year. Their prior service would be terminated only when they are confirmed in the IPS, government sources said.

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