In what could face opposition from the police ranks in the country, the Union government has written to all states proposing to decrease the quota of central deputation of IPS officers by 50 per cent. It has argued that most of the state governments do not spare their IPS officers for central deputation and more than 60 per cent posts remain vacant.
The move if implemented could have far reaching consequences for the Indian Police Service (IPS) leading to serious stagnation in the ranks. It could, however, benefit officers from other uniformed services as such posts would go to them.
In a letter sent to chief secretaries of all States on November 26, the police division of the Home Ministry has said, “Since large number of Central Deputation Reserve posts remain unutilised, the Central government is undertaking an exercise to reduce the existing CDR quota from 40% of Senior Duty Posts i.e. 1075 posts to about 500 posts.”
It has sought comments from all state governments and union territories on the proposal by December 15.
Pointing out how these reserve posts remain vacant, the MHA letter has said, “It has been noted that most of the state governments are not sparing their IPS officers to serve on Central Deputation. On going through the data of officers on central deputation throughout the country, it is observed that at present only 428 IPS officers are working on Central Deputation against the authorised strength of 1075 officers i.e. 39.81% of central deputation reserve posts. Resultantly, a large number of the …posts remain unutilised.”
The latest government move is being opposed by IPS officers who argue that they are being punished for no fault of theirs. Sources in the IPS ranks called the government decision to be “immature” and not informed with the current situation of the IPS.
“Vacancies at DIG level at the Centre are high because states are not releasing officers for central deputation. What can an IPS officer do? Until the state government agrees to send the name of a willing officer for central deputation offer list, the officer cant do anything,” a senior IPS officer said.
Under Article 312, of the constitution, which governs all India services, the IPS officers are currently allowed to have 1,075 posts reserved for them. This has been done to preserve the all India character of the IPS and to ensure they have diverse experience of serving in various central agencies apart from serving in various districts of their cadre states.
The development also comes at a time when there has been pitched battle between Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) cadre officers and IPS over Cabinet-approved better pay for CAPF officers and deputation of the latter as senior officers in the paramilitary forces. Recently, officers of ITBP, BSF, CISF and CRPF obtained stay on central deputation of IPS officers in the force below the rank of Inspector General (IG) from the Delhi High Court.
An IPS officer explained how various situations prompted a state government to stop central deputation. “After 2013, Muzaffarnagar riots, no name from UP was sent for central deputation for one year as the state thought it would need officers to maintain law and order. Mayawati too has done similar things when she was CM,” an officer said.
Another reason, officers cited, was during the Atal Behari Vajpayee regime the government decided to downsize bureaucracy and for seven to eight years small batches of just 30-35 officers were recruited in the IPS in the place of 80 earlier. “This led to a situation where they were too few officers at executive level and so states are not sparing them for the Centre. This was corrected later and 100-150 officers were recruited for some recent batches. Now when they get promoted, they will overcome the shortfall. It could happen in the next five years. But if central deputation is decreased, there will be stagnation for these officers as they won’t have enough avenues for promotion,” the officer said.