The top two intelligence agencies in the country are attempting to get free from the clutches of over-layered bureaucracy.
The RAW and the IB have conveyed to the Centre that they should be empowered to hire skilled professionals in specific areas by offering competitive packages as the number of such experts is diminishing in the outfits.
Sources said a proposal to extend the flexible complementing scheme (FCS) to both the IB and the RAW was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Security way back in 2001, but it could not be implemented due to ‘babudom’ plaguing the system. The FCS allows promotion or upgradation of scientists after evaluation of their knowledge in a particular field.
However, the struggle of the top secret agencies in retaining the talents is not finding an echo in the Ministry of Personnel which is treating it like any other government employment exercise saying the proposal is under review. “It maintained that the agencies do not figure in the list of scientific departments like the DRDO, AERB or ISRO, hence a thorough review is required to decide on such a request. They are also reluctant to offer it to Aviation research Centre of RAW which requires specific talents for air reconnaissance. If accepted, this will help at least a certain section of cadre in the agencies doing specialised job,” sources said.
The agencies in correspondence with the government in December last year have also asked for special incentives for the personnel to maintain the high working morale.
Contending the difficult nature of job and restricted fundamental rights under Intelligence Organisations (restricted rights) Act 1985, the proposal said the spies are working under stressful condition which takes a toll on their physical and mental health. It also said the sacrifice of spies goes unwept and unsung.
In the communique, agencies have suggested that government should increase the deputation allowance to 30 per cent of the basic pay scale. The IB is facing the shortage of over 8,000 skilled professionals. Against the sanctioned strength of 26,867 personnel, only 18,795 are available with the IB. Sources said despite several proposals and letters seeking more operational and financial powers, government is reluctant to grant the wish.
It is learnt that the agency have conveyed that existing procedures delays the urgent requirements thus hampering the operational activities. “The function of a spy agency is different from other government departments and it cannot be made to work in fixed bureaucratic format,” sources argued.
External spy agency RAW has strength of around 9,000 officers including the talents on deputation. Sources said RAW is losing the charm because of work culture. “Three years fixed foreign posting is the only charm for the employees working with the agency. Nobody wants to come on deputation from outside unless he or she feels that it will provide boost to their career,” sources said.