Monday, 11 May 2015

Not Just the IAS Vs Armed Forces - courtesy Times of India

It's IAS vs all central services in scramble for top posts
Pradeep Thakur,TNN | May 11, 2015, 03.33 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The 7th Pay Commission has virtually become a battleground for IAS versus all other central services. The latest to join the fight against alleged discrimination is the Indian Railway Accounts Service which has raised a technical point before the panel: out of 30 posts of financial advisors in joint secretary and additional secretary level in the government, 17 are manned by IAS which has no specialization whatsoever.

Those with specialization like the Indian Revenue Service (IRS), Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS), Indian Defence Accounts and Indian Audit Accounts are rarely accepted beyond director level, a representation from the IRAS association said. Sources said the pay commission chairman has called for a detailed analysis, besides the pay parity and delay in empanelment of cadres other than the IAS.

Earlier, the IRS association had demanded scrapping of the empanelment process which is dominated by the IAS. The IPS association had quoted statistics to demonstrate how other central services, which come through common selection process, were discriminated both in pay and positions compared to the 'elite' Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

READ ALSO: IPS, IRS want end to 'IAS raj' in secretary posts, seek pay hike

Like railway officers, the IPS association had pointed out to the commission how the IAS had cornered specialized posts in the internal security department of the home ministry - out of 20 joint secretaries in the home ministry only one is an IPS, the rest are IAS. The key department handling the country's internal security is not even headed by an IPS which has specialization in policing.

Those who have exercised finance functions throughout are not considered for the posts of financial advisors in various ministries, the IRAS association has claimed. "Mere stint or two in the area of financial management in one's career is not good enough for being considered as FAs in ministries," railway officers have said, seeking an end to IAS domination over specialized positions.

One reason for IAS domination, officers of these three services have claimed, is the "discriminatory" empanelment process where the civil services board, comprising only IAS officers headed by the cabinet secretary, has complete say. There is no representation of any of the other 35 central services in the board.

"IAS decides the fate of all 37 services. This is not just and the board must have representatives of all other services either on rotation or permanent basis," the railway officers have demanded. IRS officers had even sought scrapping of the board.

About 75% of joint secretaries, 85% of additional secretaries and 90% of secretaries are from IAS. The proportion of IAS dramatically increases from 10-12% at the level of directors to 75% at the JS level, according to the IPS association.


  1. Does the Armed Forces procedures and policies also need a review on the same grounds? A dominant bias does seem to exist and especially on the implementation and effects of AVSC - II recommendations. It may be a wrong/ biased perception; but a large majority of various Arms/Branches across the three sister services perceive it to be so. May be this too also needs an urgent review.

    With immense regards for your selfless service to the community

  2. Sir,

    Apart from the above, the Jack-of-all and Master-of-none Chaps are found everywhere in large numbers. You name any dept, whether they have technical or relevant expertise, they move. They even stoop to very low level also. The CVOs posts in many organisations. In TTD, RTC, SFC, STCs, Defence Orgs. they fit in. For any junior entry level post, tech qlfn and yrs of exp is prescribed but for the CMD or CEO post, only IAS is enough.

    This can happen only in India.

    GV Narayana

  3. Sir, I think all civilian services jostle for their fair share at the time of every pay commission. The upper tiers of their respective cadres insist on, and obtain, a far greater degree of parity for their whole workforce.

    Sadly, due to some peculiarities in orientation, a few sections of the upper echelons in the services HQs had, in the past, been inclined to adopt a, "If they don't like it here, they can leave/could have joined the IAS/nobody asked them to join (and so on)" line of reasoning. I have myself heard such views being expressed. Of course, such extreme views have always been moderated by pragmatic reasoning from other quarters at the same top management levels. But, to some extent, such thinking within the services HQs has helped the civilian bureaucracy to deny parities to the armed forces.

    I feel tough, non trade-union/association thinking is desirable in the armed forces. It is what sets us apart. But that is one thing, and not ensuring a fair deal for one's own domain is quite another. The two are different IMHO.

    Only recently has a change in this situation become discernible.

  4. Why don't we ask representation in senior and middle level appointments in all Armed forces support environment viz.Defsnce PSUs ,DRDO , Quality est , Commerce ministry for managing OFFSET investment, Defence estate , CDA , CSD management ,MOD , Overseas contract management . If we shy away from these activities in favour of only operations role then you will be woefully starved of policy making role as is our present state in govt structure. Higher def management leadership should bounce back to regain control of its environment .

  5. The same class n caste division exists in armed forces with much more brutality. It depends on which side ur. Lets first clean up our mess n then crib about others.