THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The demand for setting up a State Civil Service has been pending since 1968.
The concept was to make all gazetted officers who have completed 8 years of service to appear for a test being conducted by the PSC for getting appointment as Deputy collectors.
But somehow the plans failed to take off, recollects former Chief Secretary C P Nair.
He said that direct recruitment with the formation of Kerala Administrative Service, will infuse new blood with vibrancy and potential to serve the state with a sense of justice and an inclination towards values.
“As of now, when one gets promoted to the Deputy Collector’s post he or she will be on the brink of retirement. They cannot effect any change in the administration at that age,” he points out.
He opines that KAS would give a level- playing field to everyone compared to the present state of giving 80 percent of promotion posts to the Revenue service alone.
As per the report approved by the Cabinet, those who are one level above the first gazetted post in 18 government departments will be made equivalent to the Deputy Collectors.
They will then have to pass an examination conducted by the state PSC, to be recruited in KAS.
However, Secretariat service has been excluded from KAS.
Speaking to Express, former Additional Chief Secretary D Babu Paul said the Secretariat service should also have been included. Referring to the opposition from the Secretariat employees in including the Secretariat service, Babu Paul said they should not have taken such a stand.
“They might be taking this stand due to misunderstanding. Some of them may lose their promotion chances. But in the long run it would have been beneficial for large number of enterprising Secretariat staff employees,” he opined.
“It is a good thing to happen to the state. In the past, prior to Independence, parallel to the all-India Service, we had the Travancore Civil Service. When the country attained Independence it was merged with Indian Civil Service,” he pointed out.
Babu Paul pointed out that when the Kerala state was formed in 1956 there were four Deputy collectors from the Travancore service. Later, all of them were inducted into the IAS. There were efficient officers like M Joseph who set up the factories like KMML, he said.
“If young people are inducted into the elite service of IAS, they will inculcate a value system and will not fall prey to corruption. There may be exceptions. But most of them will have a concern for values and idealism,” he said.
Speaking to Express, Chief Secretary E K Bharat Bhushan said there were 211 Indian Administrative service Posts sanctioned for the state.
Of these, 60 seats are reserved for state civil service. But the situation prevailing is shortage of eligible persons from the Deputy Collector category. If the catchment area for bringing people to the IAS zone is expanded, it could address the issue of shortage of eligible persons.
“The Government is faced with a difficult task to find suitable persons from the Deputy collectors for conferring IAS. Now a new opportunity has been given to those officials one level above the first gazetted post to enter the KAS at an young age. It will add to the quality of service and to their career prospects,” he said.
The Chief Secretary said he had given proposals to the government to include more departments in the KAS.