THE CENTRE is firming up a cadre policy for IAS, IPS and Indian Forest Service officers wherein they get to choose a zone instead of the current system of a state as their cadre. Aimed at “national integration”, the new cadre policy will divide the 26 cadres into five zones and new recruits will have to choose from among them, a senior official said.
Zone-I has seven cadre areas — AGMUT (also known as Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territories), Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana. Zone-II consists of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha, while Zone-III comprises Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam-Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura and Nagaland will constitute Zone-IV, while Zone-V will have Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Candidates can only select one state/cadre from a zone as their first choice. Their second, third, fourth and fifth choices have to be from different zones. Usually candidates choose their home state as their first choice and neighbouring states as their subsequent preferences.
Candidates appearing for the civil service examination will have to first give their choices in a descending order of preference from among the various zones, as per the new policy. The preference for the zones will remain in the same order and no change will be permitted there, it said. Candidates will get home cadre on the basis of merit, preference and vacancy.