NEW DELHI: There is a substantial shortage of civil servants including IAS and IPS officers at a time when fast decision making is required to complete development projects ahead of the 2019 elections.
According to Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) data, posts of 1,449 IAS officers and 970 IPS officers are lying vacant apart from other vacancies in Central government ministries and departments.
The total posts vacant in Central government are 15,284 in Grade A and 26,310 in Grade B (Gazetted).
The sanctioned posts at Group A level in Central government departments are 117,285, while the number of employees is 101,901. Similarly, in Group B (Gazetted), the sanctioned posts are 136,079, while posts occupied are 109,769.
While all State cadres are facing a shortage of IAS and IPS officers but Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Karnataka are the worst hit. The authorized strength of IAS officers in UP, Bihar and Jharkhand cadre is 621, 342 and 215 respectively, out of which only 511, 235 and 140 are currently occupied.
Similarly, in southern states, the authorized strength of IAS officers in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka is 376 and 314 respectively, but the number of positions occupied is 313 and 220.
Despite the crunch, the recruiting agency Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) in its February 2018 notification had announced hiring of 782 IAS, IFS and IPS officers in all. Last year, the UPSC had announced recruitment of 980 officers. This was considered the lowest in the last five years, however, this year it went down even further.
About 1,364 and 1,228 vacancies were reported for recruitments through the 2014 and 2013 tests respectively. A total of 1,091 posts in various central services were advertised for civil services exam, 2012, as per the UPSC notification.
Taking note of the shortage, the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, and Law and Justice in last year’s report noted that almost all key positions under the Union government as well as states are being manned by the IAS and persistent shortage of IAS officers ultimately affects governance.
“The committee expresses serious concern over the persistent shortage of IAS officers and strongly recommends that all efforts be made to fill these vacancies," it said.
Speaking about the massive staff crunch, a DoPT official said sanctioned posts must be filled as per the Recruitment Rules as and when vacancies arise. “The filling up of posts is a continuous process depending on vacancies arising across Ministries/Departments during the years and action calendars of the recruiting agencies. In this regard all Ministries have been requested to take advance action for reporting a vacancy with respect to Direct Recruitment Posts recruiting agencies such as UPSC and Staff Selection Commission,” said the official.
Moreover, all Ministries have been requested to hold timely Departmental Promotion Committee meetings in order to fill up posts.