Civil Services Reforms

WB Bureaucrat Transfer Issue


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Civil services reforms

West Bengal CM has announced that the outgoing Chief Secretary would be appointed Chief Advisor to the Chief Minister.

Story so far

  • A senior IAS officer has been the subject of a tussle between the Centre and the state government over the last few days.
  • He was due to begin an extension of three months after retiring as Chief Secretary, but the Centre instead asked him to report and join the Government of India.
  • He did not do so.

How officers get an extension?

  • Rule 16(1) of DCRB (Death-cum-Retirement Benefit) Rules says that “a member of the Service may be given an extension of service for a period not exceeding three months in the public interest, with the prior approval of the Central Government”.
  • For an officer posted as Chief Secretary of a state, this extension can be for six months.

Central Deputation

  • In normal practice, the Centre asks every year for an “offer list” of officers of the All India Services willing to go on central deputation.
  • Rule 6(1) of the IAS Cadre Rules says an officer may with the concurrence of the State Governments concerned and the Central Government, be deputed for service under the Central Government or another State Government…”
  • It says “in case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the Central Government and the State Government or State Governments concerned shall give effect to the decision of the Central Government.”

Issues with such deputation

  • Because of the Rule, states have to bear the brunt of arbitrary actions taken by the Centre, while the Rule makes it difficult for the Centre to enforce its will on a state that refuses to back down.

What next

  • The Centre cannot take action against civil service officials who are posted under the state government unless the latter agrees.
  • Rule 7 of the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969, states that the authority to institute proceedings and to impose penalty will be the state government.
  • For any action to be taken against an officer of the All India Services, the state and the Centre both need to agree.

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