Mumbai: A record 29 Maharashtra state cadre officers were inducted into the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) on Tuesday. It was for the first time in the recent history of the state that such a large number of revenue officials in the rank of additional collector were selected for the IAS on promotion.
All the 29 officials were selected as deputy collector between 1988 and 1994 on the basis of the examination conducted by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission. Even after inducting them into the IAS, Maharashtra will still have 54 vacant posts out of its sanctioned strength of 361.
A senior bureaucrat said while there was inordinate delay in the promotions, but it was expedited following the intervention of chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Out of the 29 additional collectors, 17 have been selected for vacancies in 2013 and 12 for vacancies in 2014, while 12 vacancies for 2015 will be filled up in the current year.
Elaborating on the nomination procedure, the bureaucrat said 70% of the posts are filled directly on the basis of the IAS examination conducted by the UPSC, 24% from additional collectors and 6% from the non-civil service category comprising all departments other than revenue.
The bureaucrat admitted that there has been inordinate delay in submitting nominations to the Centre. “According to convention, nominations are submitted to the Centre before December 31 every year. It was found that nominations for 2013, which were to be submitted before December 31, 2013, and nominations for 2014, which were to be submitted before December 31, 2014, were submitted in January 2016. Nominations for 2015, which were to submitted before December 31, 2015, are yet to be submitted,” he said.
On the nomination of non-civil service officials, the bureaucrat said owing to a goof up by the general administration department, no list was submitted to the Centre for the year 2015. “For 2015, we have two vacancies from non-revenue category. The GAD conducted written examination of 30 candidates and short-listed 10. It was expected to complete the entire exercise and submit the list to the Centre before December 31, 2015. However, the Centre rejected the proposal, as there was delay in submitting the list. Now GAD is in the process of submitting a fresh list for three posts,” he said.
He added that a time-bound plan should be drafted for nomination of state cadre officials into the IAS. In states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, a deputy collector is inducted into the IAS after putting in a maximum of 10 to 12 years, while in Maharashtra, it takes a minimum of 20 to 22 years. “They join the state civil services with great ambition, but then it’s a huge disappointment since they get just six to 10 years of service in the IAS,” he said.