Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday shot out a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accusing the Centre for approving an examination for recruitment of State government officers into the All India Services, without discussing the issue with the State government.
Jayalalithaa blamed the Centre for taking the decision unilaterally, in a bid to gain a ‘backdoor entry’ to ‘usurp’ the rights of State government. Such a move, she told the Prime Minister, would hurt the federal polity of the country.
Jayalalithaa raised the matter after receiving a communication from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) that the Centre had accorded “in principle” approval for a change in the method of inducting State Service Officers into the All India Services. She noted in her letter that the Indian Administrative Service Recruitment Rules of 1954 accorded an important role to State governments in this process, and that the introduction of an examination would strike at the heart of a system, which she claimed has served the nation and Tamil Nadu well for decades.
“The prospect of promotion and selection to the All India Services based on performance in the State Services has served as a powerful incentive to such officers to perform effectively in their jobs and to serve the State and its people. Further, the members of the State Services are selected through a rigorous and highly competitive examination conducted by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission. They have also been selected on the basis of the state specific reservation policy, the sanctity of which is also preserved when they are inducted into the All India Services,” read Jayalalithaa’s letter to the PM, outlining her government’s opposition to have a common competitive examination conducted by the UPSC for the purpose.
She said it could have dire consequences on the morale and parity of officers, since the age of eligibility for selection to the All India Services was proposed to be lowered from the present 54 years to 40 years, and that it would prove to be a distraction from the duties of officers.