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Proposed Amendment of IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954: Changes against cooperative federalism, Mamata Banerjee writes to PM

In December, the Central Government had sent a letter to all the state governments seeking their opinion on the proposed amendment of the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954 ("Cadre Rules").

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: January 18, 2022 10:17:28 pm
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (Photo: CMO)

Expressing her “strong reservations” against the proposed changes to the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to withdraw the proposal as they are “against the spirit of cooperative federalism” and will affect administration of the state.

The proposed amendments seek to change the rules for central deputation of IAS officers from different states.

In December, the Central Government had sent a letter to all the state governments seeking their opinion on the proposed amendment of the IAS (Cadre) Rules, 1954 (“Cadre Rules”).

In her letter to the Prime Minister, Banerjee said, “I express my strong reservations to the approach followed by the Central Government in proposing such amendment to the Cadre Rules which unilaterally mandates the State Government to make such number of officers available for deputation as prescribed under Central Deputation Reserve. Not only is the proposed amendment against the spirit of cooperative federalism but the same also upsets the time-tested harmonious arrangement which has existed between the Centre and States in the matter of posting of IAS-IPS officers.”

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Explaining her reasons, Banerjee wrote, “By insisting on officers to be made available for deputation through the proposed amendment, not only will the administration of States be affected but also it would become impossible to assess and plan the administration of a State – by engaging such officers who form part of the Central Deputation Reserve, fraught with the uncertainty. of their sudden deputation by the Centre.”

As per the current guidelines, the Centre every year asks states for an “offer list” of officers from the All India Services (IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service) cadre who are willing to go on central deputation, after which it selects officers from that list.

The proposed insertion in the rules state that, “Each State Government shall make available for deputation to the Central Government, such number of eligible officers of various levels to the extent of the Central Deputation Reserve prescribed under regulations referred to in Rule 4(1), adjusted proportionately by the number of officers available with the State Government concerned vis-a-vis the total authorised strength of the state cadre at the given point of time. The actual number of officers to be deputed to the Central Government shall be decided by the Central Government in consultation with State Government concerned.”

The proposed insertion further said, “In case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the Central Government and the State Government or State Government concerned shall give effect to the decision of the Central Government within a specified time.”

Banerjee also wrote, “I would beseech you to consider that the reciprocal spirit of interactive and consultative give and take, designed in the existing framework, should not be replaced by unilateralism. I would also urge you to consider that, in the ultimate analysis, to paraphrase Gandhiji, India resides in its states.”

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