With as many as 13 Indian Administrative Service (Gujarat cadre) top officers,including Gujarat Chief Secretary,retiring by April 2014,the state is set to feel the vacuum by the time Lok Sabha elections are announced. Earlier this year,the Central government gave nod to expand the IAS cadre in Gujarat. But the state,that has been running short of officers,will take at least three years to reach anywhere near filling up all posts.
Additional Chief Secretary P Paneervel (labour and employment) retired on September 30. R J Patel,deputy municipal commissioner of Surat,will be retiring this month,followed by A B Bhattacharya,chairman,staff selection commission,who will complete his tenure in December. January 2014 will see three top level officers,including Additional Chief Secretary (Industries) Maheshwar Sahu,Commerce Secretary S R Rao and Income Tax Commissioner Hari Patel,retire.
D H Bhrambhatt,secretary Animal Husbandry and Fisheries,and incumbent Surendranagar collector P H Shah will retire in February and March respectively. This will be followed by Joint Secretary (Education) J D Bhad and Chief Secretary Varesh Sinha in April.
Against the requirement of 260 IAS officers,the state is functioning with 216 officials. Considering this,the Central Government recently gave nod to expand the IAS cadre by 37,taking it from 260 to 297. While 17 IAS officers are currently on central deputation,the state government has not been encouraging this of late.
To address the deficit,the state is now expecting the Centre to provide double the number of fresh recruits even as it has been promoting the Gujarat Administrative Service (GAS) officers. Gujarat gets around 5 to 6 fresh recruits every year. Given the expanded base,from this year,the government is expecting the Centre to send 12 officers to the Gujarat cadre.
Besides,22 GAS officers have been promoted to IAS since last August.