“To bring the administrative reforms in Jammu and Kashmir, central government proposed a cadre review, which envisaged 191 IAS and 154 IPS officers for the newly created administrative unit, but the same has not been done so far.”
Notwithstanding the fact that Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory (JKUT) is already facing acute shortage of Indian Police Service (IPS) and Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers, many officers have reportedly opted for central deputation, causing ‘hiccups’ in the smooth functioning of the Lieutenant Governor’s administration.
According to the reports and official data, J&K is facing shortage of over 82 IPS officers, which figures to around 65 as against sanctioned cadre strength of 147. Similarly, it has only 59 IAS officers against the strength of 137.
Moreover, out of the existing strength of 65 IPS officers, over 16 have opted for central deputation, while as one officer is on ‘suspension’.
“The officers, who are on central deputation included Navin Agarwal-CEO/DG NADA, S M Sahai-Joint Secretary NSCS, Lalatendu Mohanty-BSF, HK Lohia-ADGP BSF, Pankaj Saxena-ADGP GOI, Rajesh Kumar-ADGP CRPF, Sunil Kumar-BSF, Viplav Kumar-NIA, Nitish Kumar-Cabinet Secretariat, SP Pani-NIA, Uttam Chand Deputy Secretary Cabinet Secretariat, Vidhi Kumar Birdi-NIA, Keshav Ram-CBI, Sunil Gupta-GoI, Tejinder Singh-NIA, Ambarkar Shriram-Deputy Secretary Cabinet Secretariat,” reads the official data, adding that one officer, Basant Rath is on ‘suspension’ since 8th of July 2020 for lobbying allegations on DGP. However, Basant Rath is still shown as IG (HG/CD/SDRF) J&K, on the official website of J&K Police.
Similarly, out of the existing number of 59 IAS officers, over nine officers are on deputation, which included Pradip Kumar Tripathi, Ministry of Steel, GOI, Sudhashu Pandey, Department of Food and Public Distribution, GOI, Sandip Kumar Nayak, National Cooperative Development Corporation of India, GOI, Raj Kumar Goyal, Ministry of External Affairs, GOI, Shantamanu, Ministry of Textile, GOI, Ashok Kumar Parmar, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, GOI, Dr Mandeep Kumar Bhandari, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Health GOI, Mandeep Kour, Department of Revenue, GoI and Tasneem Majeed, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, GOI.
One IAS officer namely Shah Faesal, who had submitted his resignation in January 2019, still figures on the official website of Jammu and Kashmir General Administration Department (GAD) showing that the officer has submitted his resignation, which has been forwarded to the DoPT, GoI for acceptance.
However, there are nine IAS officers from outside, who have been posted in Jammu and Kashmir including Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, principal secretary to LG-Nitishwar Kumar, Divisional Commissioner Jammu-Dr Raghav Langer, Additional Secretary Information Department- Syed Sehrish Asgar, Additional Secretary in LG Secretariat-Rahul Pandey, deputy Commissioner Ganderbal-Krittika Jyotsna, Commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation-Athar Aamir Ul Shafi Khan, Managing Director Kashmir Power Distribution Corporation Limited-Basharat Qayoom and Sub Divisional Magistrate Srinagar West-Akshay Labroo.
In November 2020, “beset with acute shortage of officers” in the UT of J&K and Ladakh, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) shot off letters to several Central government departments to seek consent of officials willing to be posted to the two UTs.
The letter was sent to the Ministries and departments of railways, defence, commerce, customs and excise, posts, telecommunications said, “The new Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh are beset with acute shortage of officers.”
The J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019 had said officers belonging to the IAS, IPS and IFoS in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir “shall continue to function on the existing cadres,” till the Lieutenant Governor of J&K determines the final allocation of such officers between J&K and Ladakh. A year after the reorganisation of J&K, the cadre allocation was yet to be completed. All new recruits will be allocated the AGMUT cadre, the original Act said.
Due to this shortage, many IAS and IPS officers have been burdened with additional charges, affecting their efficiency.
“Shaleen Kabra has been given additional charge of Revenue Department, Dheeraj Gupta has been given additional charge of Principal Resident Commissioner J&K Government- New Delhi and Smart Cities and Proposed new Jammu/Srinagar MRDA, Navin Kumar has additional charge of principal secretary Agriculture, Production and Farmers Welfare and Administrative Secretary A &SH Horticulture Department, Rohit Kansal holds additional charges of Information Department, Managing Director J&K Power Development Corporation Limited, MD JK Power Corporation Limited and Coordination to coordinate with GoI, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi holds additional charges of Administrative Secretary, Mining Department, Hridesh Kumar has additional charge of Transport department, Sarita Chauhan has additional charge of Chairman J&K Special Tribunal, M Raju has additional charges of administrative secretary estates department and civil aviation department, Simrandeep Singh has additional charge of administrative secretary IT department and secretary public grievances and CEO, JAKEGA, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary has additional charge of Chief Executive Officer Mission Youth and Mission Director Skill Development Mission, Sushma Chauhan holds additional charge of Administrative Secretary Planning development and Monitoring department, Sarmad Hafeez has additional charge of Administrative Secretary Culture department, Prasanna Ramaswamy G has additional charge of Managing Director Jammu Power Distribution Corporation limited, Kumar Rajeev Ranjan has additional charge of Additional CEO J&K land Record Management Agency, Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah holds additional charge of CEO J&K ERA and Ms Avny Lavasa has additional charge of CEO Special Purpose Vehicle for Jammu city.
The related statistics also paint a grim picture. From 1987 to 2010, only one to two officers were inducted into the cadre; From 2010 to 2015, four officers were allotted to this cadre annually, which was comparative acceptable; Since 2015, only one to two officers were inducted into the cadre. In 2019 as well, only one officer was allotted the J&K cadre.
Pertinently, to bring the administrative reforms in Jammu and Kashmir, central government proposed a cadre review, which envisaged 191 IAS and 154 IPS officers for the newly created administrative unit, but the same has not been done so far.
During the meeting last year, it was discussed that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has received cadre review proposals in respect of the three All India Services — Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), Indian Forest Service (IFS) — and they are being expedited for early notification.
With regard to the career progression of UT officers, the spokesperson said, the meeting was told that eligible officers will soon be inducted into IPS and IFS.
The MHA asked for early resolution of the seniority issue in the Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service for inducting eligible officers to IAS, he said.
When tried to contact Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, he was unavailable for comments.