NEW DELHI: In a bid to weed out officials of doubtful integrity and efficiency, the government has asked all of its departments to identify such public servants and move proposals for their premature retirement.
Under FR (Fundamental Rule) 56(J) not just the ministries and various government departments but also Central universities will have to fall in line. No funds of posts approved will be released unless compliance report is submitted, in the case of educational institutions.
As for the babus - as the bureaucrats and senior government officials are called since the Colonial days - provision of FR 56 (J) will be invoked for officials found to be of dubious integrity to send them on compulsory retirement.
In the recent past, two rather high-profile bureaucrats, a serving Foreign Secretary and a Home Secretary, Sujatha Singh and L C Goyal respectively, took voluntary retirement. However, in both cases, the voluntary retirement reportedly was on grounds of intractable differences between the political masters and the officials, which seemed to have come in the way of the smooth functioning of the ministries.
The Department of Personnel and Training will now invoke the government’s right to retire any erring Group A (IAS, IFS, IPC, etc) or B (non-gazetted) officials and retire them prematurely in case of suspicion of corruption and ineffectiveness. While in the case of the first two categories, 50 would be the age at which such a retirement order on public interest can be given, in case of Group C officials, 55 is the cut-off age.
Action, however, can be taken against officials whose annual increment has been stalled for two years and promotion for five years.
The NDA government has had several major senior-level bureaucratic reshuffles.