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Citing a shortage of IAS bureaucrats at the middle-level, the Narendra Modi government has asked all states to spare more officers for central deputation, according to an official communique. A total of 493 posts out of 1,051 ones earmarked for IAS officers on central deputation are filled, leaving a vacancy of 558 or about 54 per cent. In a letter to all states, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said the movement of the officers from states to the Centre and back is crucial for building capabilities at the state-level and contributing towards developing national perspectives at the decision-making levels in the government of India. "It would, therefore, be appropriate considering the fact that there is general shortage of IAS officers at Deputy Secretary/Director level, if a conscious attempt is made while forwarding the names of the officers, so as to share the shortage proportionately between the Centre and the states and also that every eligible officer has an opportunity to serve at the Centre at least once at the middle management level," it said. Referring to the Central Deputation Reserve (CDR), which determines the extent to which officers could be sent on deputation to the government of India, it asked all the state cadres to nominate eligible officers for Central Staffing Scheme (CSS) or on central deputation. "The middle level comprising deputy secretary and director level officers is a crucial decision-making level in bureaucracy.
The shortage of officers may affect governance," a senior officer said. However, he clarified, there is a general shortage of such officers at the Centre and the deficiency mentioned in the DoPT letter talks about vacancies in all positions. West Bengal has deputed 11 of 56 IAS officers, Uttar Pradesh has allowed 50 officers of 121 and Gujarat has sent 19 of 51 officers on central deputation, the letter said, referring to the deficiency. BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh has deputed 25 IAS officers out of the CDR of 75, Chhattisgarh has sent only five bureaucrats out of 31 and Haryana has sent 12 officers out of permissible strength of 31, it said. Similarly, 19 IAS officers out of the authorised central deputation reserve of 35 are working with the Centre. In Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory or AGMUT cadre, 42 IAS officers are on central deputation against the authorised limit of 56. A total of 38 officers of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, 36 from Bihar and 22 from Himachal Pradesh are working at the Centre against the authorised CDR of 45, 48 and 26 respectively. As many as 11 IAS officers of Jammu and Kashmir cadre (out of 19), 10 of Jharkhand (against 28), 19 of Karnataka (against 44) and 20 of Maharashtra (out of 65) are deputed at the Centre. A total of 32 IAS officers of Kerala cadre are at present working at the Centre, two more than the desired central deputation reserve, according to the letter. The status of IAS officers on central deputation is comparatively slightly better in north eastern states. A total of 12 IAS officers of Manipur cadre, eight of Nagaland, four of Sikkim and 10 of Tripura are on central deputation against the authorised positions of 18, 15, eight and 15 respectively. As many as 18 IAS officers of Odisha (against authorised CDR of 40), 15 bureaucrats of Punjab (out of 39), 13 of Rajasthan (against 50), 24 of Tamil Nadu(out of 65), 11 of Telangana (against 21) and seven of Uttarakhand (out of 19) are working on central deputation.