IAS officer posts are among the most sought after jobs in India, but Andhra Pradesh has an acute shortage of them. In fact, it is unable to find IAS officers for 100 posts earmarked for the service in the state. Despite the government’s repeated requests to the Centre to send it more steel framers, the chairs continue to be vacant.
According to official data, there are 376 IAS posts sanctioned for Andhra Pradesh. Currently, only 276 of them are filled with true blue IAS officers; the rest of the chairs are being warmed by state service officers.
As many as 36 sanctioned IAS posts are laying vacant at Secretariat, of which 26 are of the rank of joint secretary, deputy secretary and additional secretary.
According to official sources, the vacancy position is goinig from bad to worse. The 100 vacancies have been filled by non-IAS officers for five years.
Plus, on an average, the IAS vacancies are increasing by 10-15 every year. With the Centre not responding to its request, the state has no choice but to appoint state service officers to posts that have to be filled by IAS officers.
For instance, a sub-collector’s post an IAS posting but when there is no candidate available, the state converts it into a revenue divisional officer’s post and posts a state services officer there.
Even at more senior levels, commissioners’ posts in departments are sometimes held by state service officers -- in which case the designation becomes director.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one officer said that the government may not mind it too much that the Centre has been indolent in paradrop IAS officers on the states to fill the vacancies. Ministers are only too happy to deal with state service officers, for whatever reason, he said.
Some ministers and people’s representatives in fact bring pressure on the chief minister not to appoint IAS officers to key positions, he said.
Another reasons for the shortage may be the CBI’s investigation of some questionable decisions taken by IAS officers during the Y S Rjasekhara Reddy regime.
One young steelframer said: “New recruits are not showing interest in coming to AP because decisions of the investigation. ”
Every year, the central government allots IAS officers to state cadres as per the vacancy position. Last year seven IAS officers were detailed to AP.
According to one senior IAS officer, no steelframer is willing to take joint and deputy secretary level posts as they tend to have a boss breathing down their neck.
They prefer secretary level posts, ‘autonomous’ posts like sub-collector and district collector where perks are better.